Manchester United were effectively put up for sale this week and Avram Glazer has quickly broken his silence on the board's decision as well as the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken publicly for the first time since the club were effectively put up for sale.
Shortly after announcing the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday, the Old Trafford board confirmed that they were exploring "strategic alternatives to enhance the club's growth." Less than 48 hours later, Glazer was confronted by Sky News near his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and he commented on both the possibility of a takeover and Ronaldo's incendiary parting shot that his family "don't care" about the club, a claim which has been echoed by supporters.
The 62-year-old - whose father, Malcolm, led a £790million takeover effort 17 years ago - was asked why his family had decided to sell United now following years of fan protests. "We announced yesterday that the board went through a process and it's decided to look at different strategic alternatives and that's what we're doing," he responded on his way into a restaurant.
Probed again to reveal why the decision to sell has come at this particular time, Glazer reiterated: "Well, once again, we've gone through a process, we're going to look at all different strategic alternatives and we'll see where that leads us. I appreciate you talking to me tonight and I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving."
When asked about Ronaldo's scathing criticism in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, which reportedly left the Glazers furious and ultimately led to them terminating his £480,000-a-week contract, the American said: "Well, I'll tell you about Cristiano Ronaldo - he's a great Manchester United player, I appreciate everything he's done for the club and I wish him the best luck in the future."
Glazer then headed into the Florida restaurant as Sky News continued to ask him why Ronaldo had to leave Old Trafford. His coy responses are the first public statements that any of the Glazers have given since the United's hotly-anticipated announcement which has been met with plenty of interest from potential buyers.
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Most notably, Britain's richest man and boyhood United supporter, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will bid for the club - according to The Telegraph - while club legend David Beckham is also reportedly open to talks. The Financial Times claim Beckham's affinity with fans is attractive to various interested parties, who could get the former United midfielder on board in an effort to help purchase the club.
However, the Glazers may only sanction a partial sale to new investors, with funds being raised to redevelopment Old Trafford. The family's decision comes just a fortnight after bitter rivals Liverpool - whose owners, Fenway Sports Group, are also American - announced that they were open to selling their majority stake, having already received enquiries from groups looking to buy shares.