Manchester United could be up for sale soon as the Glazer family is preparing to examine potential sources of outside investment. Among the options for the American owners include a complete or partial sale, or a strategic partnership to infuse the club with more funding, the team announced on Tuesday. American businessman Malcolm Glazer purchased what is arguably one of the most famous clubs on the planet back in 2005 for an approximate value of £800 million.
The team issued the following statement:
The process is designed to enhance the club's future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially. As part of this process, the board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company. This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club's commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club's men's, women's and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.
"The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers. As we seek to continue building on the club's history of success, the board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives. We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future," executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in the team statement. "Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders."
The news comes hours after the club terminated Cristiano Ronaldo's contract following his explosive tell-all interview with Piers Morgan where the 37-year-old star, who's with the Portuguese national team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, aired his grievances and damaged his legacy with the Red Devils in the process so that he could force an exit in January. He got his wish just days before Portugal's first group stage game. In that interview, the criticized the amenities at the Old Trafford club and took aim at the American owners by accusing them of not caring about the club.
"The Glazers, they don't care about the club. I mean, professional sport, as you know, Manchester is a marketing club," he said. "They will get money from the marketing -- the sport, it's, they don't really care, in my opinion. The fans, they're always right. I think the fans should know the truth, should know that the players want the best for the club. I want the best for the club. This is why I came to Manchester United."
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The news also comes weeks after Fenway Sports Group's reported interest in selling United rival Liverpool.
As for the Glazers, their 17-year period as owners has been mired by fan protests, specifically during the attempted emergence of the European Super League, to which the club bowed out days later. The Glazers have experienced success as owners, with five Premier League titles and one Champions League title -- all under Sir Alex Ferguson -- during their reign. The club has not won the Premier League since 2013 and has failed to recapture some of the magic from the Ferguson era.
CBS Sports will continue to update this breaking news story as necessary.