Manchester United are expected to undergo a takeover during the second part of the current season.
Having announced in November that the club was “commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives”, the Glazer family – who selected The Raine Group to conduct this process – are set to go through with a complete sale before spring of this year.
David Ornstein of The Athletic reported via NBC that:
“The Raine bank [sic] – who are in charge of this process – they’re aiming for a complete sale of Manchester United in the first quarter of 2023. Therefore, the Glazer family are not going to be willing to sanction a massive outlay of cash on deals at this time of the year.”
James Rhoades of United Muppetiers aligned his insider information alongside Ornstein’s, detailing that:
“Talks are continuing, and it has to be sooner rather than later because right now the club is bleeding money.” The latest fiscal financial report revealed that the club’s current available bank balance sits at £24million, £97million less than last year – the Glazers were thus unable to take out dividends. The report also detailed that United have been paying an interest of £1.02m per week for the privilege of having the Glazers as owners, while the club’s debt still sits at $650m.
Ornstein’s verdict that the club should be sold by the first quarter of 2023 leaves the Glazers theoretically with twelve weeks left as owners of Manchester United if their financial advisors are to be successful in their aim.
The Raine Group also managed Chelsea’s sale to Todd Boehly’s Clearlake Capital backed consortium. Following links to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Roman Abramovic released a statement on March 2nd confirming that Chelsea would have to be sold. The takeover was completed on May 31st – just short of twelve weeks after Abramovic’s statement.
Sports agent John Morris expressed his views via Twitter following Ornstein’s update:
“If the Raine Group are expecting this to be finalized in Q1 of 2023 then I would guess an offer has been made and accepted. A deal this size usually takes more than 12wks to conclude unless already well done [sic] the line.”
Ornstein also suggested that The Raine Group are seeking a sale price between £6billion and £7bn – nearly double of Chelsea’s final cost.
The Athletic reported two weeks ago that Avram Glazer was using his time at the World Cup to conduct business meetings. The American family is known to have other interests in the Middle East, but The Athletic clarified that Glazer held talks with potential investors from Qatar and Saudi Arabia regarding Manchester United and its “exploration of strategic alternatives.”
These meetings with Saudi Arabian businessmen comes after sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal revealed that he would support his compatriots if a bid from the kingdom were to be launched:
“I think it is a good opportunity and if the numbers add up and, if we can all benefit from that from a business perspective, why not? If there is an opportunity that benefits us I would encourage the private sector to do so.”
Reports recently alleged that Richard Arnold sat down with Saudi Arabia’s tourism authority (Anas al-Sharif and Saud al-Subaie) to discuss a deal which would see the country – which has relaxed its border rules following Covid – become United’s main shirt sponsor. Negotiations fell through after contracts had been readied to sign this week.
Whether this withdrawal could be connected to United having already agreed a deal with a conflicting party is unknown – or to Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure is merely speculatory.