Who will buy Manchester United?
In pursuit of “strategic alternatives,” Manchester United’s Glazer family owners are considering selling the club. The Glazer family could find interested parties in the following, should they decide to sell the Old Trafford club:
Longtime fan Ratcliffe showed interest in Manchester United 20-time English champions in August, but the Glazer family notified him two months later that the Premier League side was not for sale. This year, he also tried to buy Chelsea Football Club of London, which American Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital bought. Many United fans are interested in Ratcliffe, but some worry that the club’s $4.5 billion valuation may price him out of the market. Ratcliffe’s chemical firm INEOS remains profitable.
The consortium, including David Beckham
The Financial Times reported that former England captain and United midfielder David Beckham was eager to speak with potential buyers. The former Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star’s path to co-owner of Inter Miami have been rocky. Beckham’s long experience with United will benefit any consortium. He was vital in United’s 1998–1999 treble-winning campaign under Alex Ferguson.
The Red Knights
The Red Knights, a group including former EFL chair Keith Harris, then-Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill, and British financier Paul Marshall, put their desire to buy the club on hold in 2010 due to “inflated valuation expectations.” O’Neill and Marshall asked United co-chairman Joel Glazer for corporate governance improvements after the club’s unsuccessful 2017 intentions to join a European Super League garnered public criticism. If the Glazers decrease their “unrealistic” expectations, O’Neill may seek a takeover, according to the Manchester Evening News. When asked if he required $4 billion to buy United, O’Neill said, “Let’s see.”
Middle Eastern investors
While Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund paid $300 million for Newcastle United in 2021, Abu Dhabi United Group finances Manchester City. Even though Qatar Sports Investments controls PSG, Dubai investors may buy United.
The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, briefly brightened United’s stock and fans’ hopes in August when he tweeted that he was buying the club, only to clarify a short time later that it was all part of “a long-running joke.” Some team fans have previously tweeted to Musk, asking him to consider buying the team since they believe the Glazers aren’t investing enough in the group.
The Daily Star reported on Thursday that tech giant Apple was interested in buying United, which would make United the wealthiest club in the world despite Apple’s lack of expertise in owning a soccer team of United’s magnitude.
ZARA founder Amancio Ortega
According to the Manchester Evening News, Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega, founder of the fashion giant Zara and estimated by Forbes to be worth $61.3 billion, has expressed interest in purchasing Unite.