The Glazer family has been urged by Manchester United fans to sell quickly and to make sure they leave the club in the right hands rather than chasing the biggest bid.
In an open letter, the Manchester United Supporters Trust also warns the Glazers that any sort of uncertainty could be “disastrous” and tells them “It’s time for a change”. It comes after reports the Americans want at least £6bn for a club they purchased in 2005.
“The last 17 years has been characterised by debt and decline – on-the-field and off it,” the letter from Must states. “The vast majority of United fans will agree with the conclusion you appear to have also reached – it’s time for change.
“Fans will want to carefully scrutinise any new prospective owner – most of all we implore them not to repeat the mistakes you did – of alienating the fans that represent the greatest asset of Manchester United.
Despite the high price, United are likely to attract a number of potential suitors. In August, Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest person, expressed an interest in buying United, however Ineos did not respond to a request for comment from the Guardian. Some petro-states could also be potentially keen on acquiring one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Must’s letter also lacerates the Americans for their record before urging them to sell as quickly as possible. “You have made huge amounts of money from Manchester United,” it states. “Hundreds of millions of pounds out, without a single penny of investment in. Whatever commercial objective you had in 2005, we suspect you have met it.
“So now you can do two things for your legacy – the first is to prioritise the best interests of Manchester United Football Club over the financial interests of the selling shareholders. Our club, at this moment in time more than ever, needs the right ownership and that should be the priority rather than simply the highest bidders and highest return for you.
“Second, we implore you to move with speed. In football, any sort of hiatus or uncertainty is disastrous. If you have decided to sell, we urge you to do it quickly to allow the club to move on without any delay.”
It is understood that four of the six Glazer siblings have wanted to sell for a while and the last two, Avi and Joel, have come round to it in recent weeks. The Raine Group, which oversaw the sale of Chelsea earlier this year, has been appointed as the exclusive financial adviser.
“We have a terrific new manager, and we can all see recent progress on the field,” the letter ends. “So, conclude your review process as quickly as possible, identify the best new ownership for the football club, and get the sale done, so Erik Ten Hag has the certainty he needs to invest in the playing squad and we bring in the much needed investment for the stadium to restore Manchester United to its proper position.
“Now is the time for change in the best interests of Manchester United.”