It’s definitely not what most supporters of Manchester United want to hear, but it is what it is- the Glazer family is likely to stay on, and in control of the football club.
Despite putting the club on the trading block, and receiving substantial offers from at least three different parties (Sheik Jassim, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Thomas Zilliacus), the Glazer family is reportedly “increasingly confident” they will retain full control of the club.
That’s according to an ESPN report, which states that Joel and Avram Glazer are hoping to stay on and “potentially double the value of the club over the next decade.”
No doubt the news surrounding the likely sale of NFL franchise the Washington Commanders is affecting the Glazer family outlook on their own situation. The Glazers reportedly wanted $7.25 billion for MUFC, which would be a new record sale for a sports franchise.
But now, with the Commanders reportedly “commanding” (sorry, had to) offers of $7 billion, well it changes the game, literally and figuratively.
Glazer greed is notorious and well-documented, so no doubt they want to achieve the all time record for most expensive sports franchise here, and they want to do so in a manner that keeps them in first place for a very long time.
It’s kind of like a financial version of Cristiano Ronaldo desperately wanting to play Champions League football this season, just for the cause of his UCL scoring record.
It is not enough that Ronaldo has that scoring record already, he wanted to further pad it so that it would be nearly impossible for Lionel Messi or anyone else to catch him any time soon.
So the Glazers, through the investment bank that they hired, the Raine Group, are playing a long con here.
This is exactly why Zilliacus called this process “a farce” and then dropped out.
He’s right- the Glazer family are, and perhaps never were, actually interested in selling the club. The goal is to drive up the valuation, and to secure outside funding in order to do so.
That’s why it’s about becoming “increasingly confident” that they can/will stay- they need/want outside investment to do so. Even if it means a metaphorical “deal with the devil” to make it happen.
And when you’re ready to get in bed with the world’s worst war profiteers, as we learned yesterday they might, or could, well that is exactly where we are right now.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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