Manchester United, one of the biggest football brands in the world has possibly been put up for sale, as the owners are deciding their next steps.
In 2005, the Glazer family paid £790m to buy the club. However, they say they are thinking about how to run the business differently.
People think they could sell it for between £4 billion and £4.5 billion, but some say they could get even more.
Fans have been protesting against the American family’s ownership for years, so they are happy about this change.
Possible Manchester United buyers
Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is one of the richest people in the UK, and when people talk about a possible takeover of Manchester United.
He first said he wanted to buy the club in August.
Sir Jim likes the Red Devils, which will be good for fans who don’t like the current owners because they don’t seem to put much money into the club’s facilities and team.
He got rich by buying parts of businesses other people didn’t want and making them work again. Sir Jim built the business Ineos on land that the oil company BP used to own. Almost everything we touch every day has some of its chemicals or basic materials in it.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, he has the 27th most money in the UK. He is worth a total of £6bn. Forbes says, though, that it is just under £11 billion.
Kieran Maguire is a writer and an expert on the business side of the football. He says that the fan choice would be the businessman from Lancashire.
But Sir Jim hasn’t said anything since the Glazers’ announcement on Tuesday, and Mr. Maguire says it’s “less likely” that the founder of Ineos will pay too much for the club.
Jim O’Neill and Red Knights
Lord O’Neill led the “Red Knights,” a group of investors who tried to buy back the club in 2010.
Like Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a United fan, Lord O’Neill told the BBC that whoever buys the club needs to aknow what they are getting into. And know why and how they want to do what they want.
For instance, when asked on BBC’s Today if he needed to raise £4bn to buy the club, Lord O’Neill didn’t say he wouldn’t make a bid if he didn’t have to.
Lord O’Neill ran the investment bank Goldman Sachs from 1995 to 2013. He was the head economist most of the time.
Private equity investors in the US People have talked a lot about the game and what the future might hold because US owners and companies are buying shares in Premier League clubs.
Research by the consulting firm Deloitte shows that more than two-thirds of investments in Europe’s biggest leagues have come from the US over the past five years, and private equity interest is growing.
Mr. Gans says that companies think they know how to help these clubs grow by using digital marketing. And if not, to a level they aren’t at now.
However, it is possible that Old Trafford doesn’t want any more money from the US. Gary Neville, who used to play for the club and now works as a commentator, said that a part sale to the US investment fund Apollo would not be a good thing.
Buyers of Middle Eastern origin
A few investors have bought European clubs that get a lot of attention with ties to sovereign nations.
The Abu Dhabi United Group owns one of Manchester United’s rivals, Manchester City. Similarly, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund led a group that just bought Newcastle United.
Qatar Sports Investments own Paris Saint-Germain, and other Gulf countries might want to buy Manchester United.
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An expert on football finances, Mr. Maguire, told the BBC that countries in the area have “access to funds that could be used” to pay the Glazers’ high price.
Above all, as has been widely reported, these kinds of deals can put supporters in challenging moral and ethical situations.