Manchester United legend Gary Neville has slammed the Glazers for their indecision and failure to facilitate a timely and speedy conclusion of the takeover process.
The United takeover is well and truly in its seventh month since it was announced and to this day, fans are no closer to knowing who will be the next custodian of the club.
The primary bidders, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe remain in a hotly-contested rivalry as they each seek to complete a majority sale.
Sheikh Jassim has proposed an arrangement which will see him buy 100% of the club. Sir Jim’s offer entails buying more than 50% of shares to give himself control of affairs at the Theatre of Dreams.
The Peoples Person covered a report which indicated that Sheikh Jassim is now leading the race to purchase United.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’s confidence in beating the Qatari banker is said to be waning significantly.
Even in the event that the Glazers name a preferred bidder imminently, a lengthy approval process spanning more than two months awaits the new owners.
This means that there’s a strong chance the Glazers could still be in charge by the time United square up against Wolverhampton Wanderers on their opening fixture of the 2023/24 campaign on August 14.
Neville recently lambasted the Glazers for their shameful handling of the takeover and branded them as “erosive.”
The former United defender renewed his attacks on the American family while speaking on BBC 5Live via The Mail.
Neville remarked, “Embarrassing! But it’s what they have done, drag everything out, it’s always in their best interests.”
“Fans not being updated by owners on the ownership sale is not good enough, but fitting with how they have operated for 20 years now.”
National News journalist Andy Mitten also pulled no punches in exposing the unwarranted behaviour of United’s current administrators.
United manager Erik ten Hag has been left frustrated. The Dutchman’s summer transfer plans are currently being thwarted by the Glazers’ indecision.
United have been consistent in pointing out that it’s all “business as usual” but as Mitten rightly questions, “How can it be usual with the huge elephant of the future of the club in the room?”
Mitten details the extent to which the Glazers have fuelled competitive tension between Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim. The two billionaires have been played one off against the other. A source close to Raine Group – the merchant bank acting on behalf of the Glazers – described the state of affairs as “Tacky. Grubby”
The toxicity elicited by the whole procedure has evidently spilled into the United fanbase. Qatar enjoy almost unequivocal support on Twitter but according to Mitten, a number of polls conducted behind paywalls by reputable news outlets have swung in strong favour of Sir Jim.
Mitten reiterates, “United fans have become even more divided (in 2005, a few thousand fans set up a breakaway club FC United of Manchester) and entrenched on their positions, the online mood toxic and intolerant. Protagonists are abused, falsehoods pedalled.”
“Journalists are rubbished if they bring news that different groups of fans don’t want to hear and are accused of being part of the rival bidding, but it’s not only United fans who want clarity.”
“United’s 1,000 full-time staff do. Imagined deadlines come and go. Fans who’d otherwise obsess over possible player transfers now try to decipher financial information from the New York Stock Exchange where United’s shares are publicly listed.”
Sadly for the Old Trafford faithful, the Glazers, who are normally slow decision-makers, do not seem to be in any apparent rush to oversee a conclusion to the takeover.
Why should they when every farcical deadline put in place only serves to usher in a fresh round of bids?
The Glazers stand to reap a staggering figure of more than £5 billion, just 18 years after they bought the club for £790 million. It’s important to note that they did so in a leveraged buy-out arrangement that saw significant debt loaded onto the Red Devils. This debt is still on United’s books.
United fans can only hope that at the end of the day, the right owner who will remedy the situation and spearhead a new era of glory on the pitch emerges successful.