Man Utd Supporters Trust has demanded a stake for fans in the new ownership structure after the Glazer family confirmed that the club is up for sale.
The Glazers announced on Tuesday evening that they are now “exploring strategic alternatives” and this includes a potential sale.
MUST welcome this news but they added a note of caution regarding who eventually replaces them.
“Whilst supporters have long called for change, of course this has to be the right change,” a statement said. “At this moment in time, our club needs new investment more than ever. That requires new ownership.
“Any prospective new owner or investor has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club.
“They have to be willing to invest to restore United to former glories, and that investment must be real new money spent on the playing side and the stadium.
“Finally any new ownership structure must embed supporters, including a degree of fan share ownership, in their operating model.
“Manchester United’s fans are its greatest asset and hold the key to unlocking the true value of any football club. That relationship has to be one of equals – sharing in ownership and unified with the same goals.”
After years of rebuffing demands that they sell up, the Glazers now seem prepared to relinquish control.
United said the board of directors were starting a process “designed to enhance the club’s future growth” with the intention of maximising opportunities on and off the pitch.
A club statement read: “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.”
Should the Glazers decide not to sell, they could still look for an investment partner to raise capital in order to fund a much-needed redevelopment of Old Trafford.
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future,” said executive co-chairmen and directors Avram and Joel Glazer.
“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders and various stakeholders.”
Owners of arch-rivals Liverpool, Fenway Sports Group – also based in the United States – are currently exploring similar options for the whole or partial sale of a club bought in 2010 for £300m.
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