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Unrest at Manchester United shows no sign of abating with protests planned for Monday’s game and #GlazersSellNow trending on Twitter in the UK.
There is no let-up in the fallout following Manchester United’s poor start to the season. Fans are beginning to mobilise ahead of planned protests against the ownership next Monday ahead of the Liverpool game as proposed investors begin to formalise bids to try and secure the club from the Glazer family.
United fans call for ‘real investment’ from any new owner
The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) stated that any new owner of the Premier League club must be willing to invest heavily to restore its former glory amid speculation of a sale by the Glazer family. British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has expressed an interest in buying United after Tesla founder Elon Musk said a Twitter post in which he said he planned to buy the club was part of ‘a long-running joke’. The club’s owners, the American Glazer family, are under pressure with United sitting bottom of league after two games of the new season.
Bloomberg reported they would consider selling a minority stake, opening the door for Ratcliffe. ‘Speculation is mounting about a potential change of ownership or new investors at Manchester United. Whilst supporters have called for change, of course this has to be the right change,’ MUST said in a statement on Twitter. ‘Any prospective new owner or investor has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club. They have to be willing to invest to restore United to former glories, and that investment must be real new money spent on the playing side and the stadium.’ A new ownership structure must embed supporters and include fan share ownership, the group added.
Billionaire Ratcliffe interested in buying United claim The Times
British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying Manchester United, his spokesperson told The Times on Wednesday. The club’s owners, the American Glazer family, are under pressure with United sitting bottom of the Premier League after two games of the season. Bloomberg reported they would consider selling a minority stake, opening the door for Ratcliffe. ‘If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,’ Ratcliffe’s spokesperson said. ‘If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.’
The Glazers have been the target of intense criticism for their failure to invest in the team who have not won a trophy in five years. Ratcliffe, head of chemical company INEOS, is from the Manchester area and a long-standing fan of the club. ‘This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset,’ the spokesperson added. Ratcliffe failed this year in an attempt to buy London club Chelsea which was ultimately bought by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
With a fortnight left of the summer transfer window, United have shown interest in a key Real Madrid player in Casemiro. Manchester United have suffered a dire start to the new Premier League season with two consecutive defeats leaving them bottom of the table and the club is desperate to strengthen their midfield before the market closes.
United need a big transfer to reconcile with a disgruntled Old Trafford, with fans on the verge of revolting against the team and the club owners of the club for the disastrous sports management they have carried out in recent years. For that reason, Ten Hag has made a move and has asked his office bosses to go all out to sign Casemiro. The Real Madrid player, MVP of the recent UEFA Super Cup and a first choice in Ancelotti’s XI, is currently the most qualified defensive midfielder in the world. So it was little wonder that Madrid extended and renewed his contract until 2025 last year as a deterrent to any potential suitors. As well as a significant pay rise, the club also added a shield clause of 1 billion euros, which is a polite, written way of saying “not for sale”.
It’s fair to say that in their twenty year tenure as custodians of Manchester United, the Glazer family and United fans have failed to find synergy. Supporters claim that the family have racked up debt using the club to prop up loans and match going fans testify that the infrastructure at Old Trafford is far from becoming one of the biggest names on world football with little investment having been spent on the ground.
Fans are also unhappy that despite winning five Premier Leagues and a Champions League during the Glazer tenure, since the departure of Alex Ferguson as manager in 2013, their fortunes have taken a severe turn for the worse. The club has gone through five full-time and three interim managers in the nine years since 2013, with only three trophies won in that time.
United supporters are desperately hoping that a ‘white knight’ shows up and can convince the Glazer family to sell their shareholding, but in the meantime are ramping up their lines of protest with a march planned for Monday ahead of the home game to Liverpool. The protest is also taking place on social media platforms with the hashtags #GlazersSellNow and #EmptyOldTrafford trending in parts of the UK.