Reports surfaced earlier in the week that the Glazer family will be looking for new investors at Manchester United. This could potentially be a full sale of the club to the highest bidder. However, determining just how much the Glazers could make from the deal is difficult to answer.
Avram and Joel Glazer previously issued a statement on the potential sale emphasizing on United’s fanbase. “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers,” said the Glazers.
“As we seek to continue building on the club’s history of success, the board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives,” the statement continued. “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.”
Glazers aim for record sale fee for Man United
Since the statement, there have been reports that the family is looking for about $7.25 billion to sell United. This would smash the fee that Todd Boehly and his partners paid for Chelsea earlier this year. The American businessman reportedly spent around $3 billion when they bought Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
Although United will almost certainly cost more than Chelsea, the Glazers getting $7 billion could be difficult. United’s shares reached $21.50 on Friday, which brings a total value of about $3.5 billion. This figure would rise to about $4 billion if debts are included.
Jim O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, claims that a valuation between these figures would seem about right. “I can’t see why United is worth much above $3.6 billion given everything we know — including the money needed to rebuild,” O’Neill told the Financial Times. The businessman also previously made an attempt to buy the team as well.
Fanbase does not equate to high revenue
There is no questioning United’s brand. They currently have one of the biggest fanbases in the world. It has been claimed that only Spain’s Barcelona and Real Madrid have more fans globally. Nevertheless, converting a massive amount of fans into revenue is not always easy.
United’s annual revenue has been in a decline since the 2018/19 campaign. The club also currently has a jersey sponsor that wants to renegotiate contract terms. Old Trafford is in need of a renovation as well. These issues, along with clearly needing to invest serious funds in new players, could make potential buyers baulk at the club’s reported hefty price tag.
There will, however, be plenty of suitors lined up to enquire about purchasing United. It is clearly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Nevertheless, it appears that the Glazers may have to settle for less money than expected in a Man United sale.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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