The Glazers have placed a minimum price of £3.75bn on Manchester United amid growing pressure to sell the club. A number of fan protests have taken place since the start of the new season, with fans joining Gary Neville in asking the American family to hand over the keys to Old Trafford after acquiring the club for £790m in 2005, loading it up with debt through a buyout leverage. Britain’s richest man and childhood fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently hit the headlines by announcing an interest in buying his favorite team, and now Dubai tycoons are believed to be weighing up a swoop. It had already been widely reported that the Glazers would consider selling a small stake in the club, but now a full takeover price has emerged to part with their prized asset after 17 turbulent years.
According to the Daily Mail, around £3.75 billion would be enough, although it could take up to £5 billion. That amount would be difficult for most potential buyers, but would be well within the range of a sovereign wealth fund, with Dubai expected to join the Premier League party. The Emirati state is yet to follow neighbors Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, who have Manchester City and Newcastle in their portfolios respectively, into the Premier League but could be tempted by United.
Red Devils supporter Ratcliffe, who owns INEOS and French club Nice, registered his interest more than three weeks ago. A spokesman for the Lancashire-born chemist told the Times: “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer. If such a thing were possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership. “This is not about the money that was spent or not. Jim is looking at what can be done now and knowing how important the club is to the town, I feel the time is right for a relaunch.”