A takeover of Manchester United could take several months with serious talks yet to materialise as potential buyers bide their time.
There has been intense speculation surrounding the club since it was announced that the Glazer family were considering the sale of the Premier League side last month, with the controversial American ownership releasing a statement announcing their intention to “explore strategic alternatives” for the Red Devils, “including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions”.
Attentions have since turned to potential buyers of the club, with companies such as Amazon and Apple linked. However, the The Athletic are reporting that Apple have distanced themselves from a move to purchase United and have ‘no interest’ in tabling a bid.
Amazon declined to comment, but have branched into football with a sponsorship of Napoli and the purchase of broadcast rights for the Premier League.
The clothing company Zara have also distanced themselves from speculation regarding United, while Mukesh Ambani, the world’s 10th richest person with a worth of $90.7billion according to Forbes, has been linked with purchasing a football club. The Indian businessman has also been linked with Liverpool.
The Raine Group have been placed in charge of the sale, having also overseen the sale of Chelsea last summer. Joe Ravitch, co-founder and partner of Raine, will lead takeover talks. Chelsea sold for a figure of £2.5bn, with a further £1.75bn guaranteed in investment into the club.
Raine are aiming for a full sale of Manchester United for a figure between £6bn and £7bn in early 2023, but interested parties will take their time. Chelsea’s sale attracted an auction due to the UK government’s sanctioning of Roman Abramovich and a deadline for the sale, but there is no such timeline on a takeover of United.
The potential sale will bring an end to the Glazer’s controversial 17-year ownership at Old Trafford, one which has been punctuated with protests against the owners. United have undergone a period of decline across the past decade and are without a Premier League title since 2013.
The controversial takeover – when the Glazer family purchased the club in a heavily-leveraged £790m deal – saddled the Red Devils with huge debts and the Glazers have since used the club’s commercial revenue to pay the interest, draining finances from one of world football’s most lucrative clubs. The family have also taken hundreds of millions out of the club in dividends.
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