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Manchester United Owners Ponder Sale as Ronaldo Exits

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Manchester United Owners Ponder Sale as Ronaldo Exits

Manchester United announced Tuesday that it would begin an investigation into strategic alternatives, such as a new investment or a potential sale, 17 years after the American Glazer family purchased the English Premier League soccer club.

According to the club, the Glazer family is working with financial advisers on the process, which could result in a partial sale of the Old Trafford club or investments such as stadium and infrastructure redevelopment.

Manchester United fans have been calling for a change in ownership, and the Glazers have come under fire for failing to win a trophy in the last five years. Their most recent trophies were the Europa League and League Cup in 2017.

“As we seek to build on the club’s history of success, the board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives,” United’s executive co-chairmen and directors, Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, said in a statement.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United capitalizes on the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future,” according to the statement.

According to Reuters, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe expressed interest in purchasing United in August. Elon Musk had also joked about buying the club at the time.

In recent years, wealthy Asian tycoons, particularly those from China, have purchased European clubs such as Wolverhampton Wanderers of the Premier League and Inter Milan of Italy.

Football clubs, on the other hand, have since been deemed unfavourable assets by China, and any major overseas purchase appears unlikely at the moment, according to Mark Dreyer, the Beijing-based author of “Sporting Superpower,” a book about China’s sports ambitions.

“It’s difficult to see how any Chinese-related entity could justify such a large purchase in the current environment,” he said. “… with China only now confronting the realities of COVID-19, which makes the entire economic environment even more uncertain, no state body would approve this kind of deal.”

Manchester united

Manchester United Stock Rises

The owners are under pressure because United is currently fifth in the Premier League, which has been suspended due to the ongoing Qatar World Cup.

Manchester United’s stock increased by up to 20% after Sky News first reported on the sale process, valuing the club at $2.6 billion.

At the end of Tuesday’s trading in the United States, the company was valued at $2.5 billion. In 2018, it had a market capitalisation of $4.3 billion at its peak as a public company.

Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United “with immediate effect,” the Premier League club announced on Tuesday, just days after criticizing manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s owners in an explosive interview.

It was unclear where Ronaldo, 37, would go next after failing to secure a move to a Champions League club in the summer.

“Following discussions with Manchester United, we have mutually agreed to terminate our contract early,” said Ronaldo. “I adore Manchester United and its supporters, and that will never change.” However, it appears that the time has come for me to seek a new challenge.

“I wish the team the best of luck for the rest of the season and in the future.”

Ronaldo, who is currently in Qatar with Portugal attempting to win his country’s first World Cup title, has been frustrated after being reduced to a fringe member of United’s team this season.

Manchester United

Ronaldo Says He Was Betrayed

During a 90-minute interview with Piers Morgan on Thursday, the Portugal captain said he felt “betrayed,” and he was also critical of younger players.

United announced last week that it had taken appropriate action in response to his comments, with the termination of his contract widely anticipated.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to leave Manchester United with immediate effect,” the club announced on Tuesday. “The club thanks him for his enormous contribution over two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family the best of luck in the future.”

That statement failed to convey the club’s outrage following the unauthorized interview.

Ronaldo’s unexpected departure may also hasten United’s plans to sign a new centre forward.

Ten Hag had intended to address his offensive issues at the end of the season, but he may now have to look for a replacement during the January window.

VOR News, AP, Reuters

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