Man Utd fans set off flares as they protest against the Glazers
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Manchester United are silent amid claims the Glazers could, after 17 controversial years, be finally ready to sell up. Widespread reports have suggested a sale may be on the cards over at Old Trafford, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe registering an interest. However, it appears any interested suitors will have to pay far more than a few years ago.
Manchester United have been owned by the Glazers ever since 2005.
And though Sir Alex Ferguson initially ensured the silverware kept coming at Old Trafford, with the club winning five Premier League titles in the first eight years of the American’s rule, trophies have dried up in recent years.
The Glazers are unpopular figures at United, to put it mildly. Every match, both home and away, they face calls to go. Most of the time, they’re not even in the stadium to hear the abuse and criticism coming their way.
Last year, it emerged they wanted a staggering £4billion to walk away from the club – with The Mirror reporting this news.
Having bought the Red Devils for £790million back in 2005, it was described as a figure the Glazers thought could be achieved had the European Super League project gone ahead.
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And it was said to be a price that would tempt brothers Joel and Avram Glazer into relinquishing control.
They reportedly believed their high demands were justified due to United’s ‘unique heritage and commercial pulling power’.
But, now, it appears Ratcliffe and other interested parties will have to spend even more if they’re to take United off the Glazers’ hands.
According to The I, it would take a bid of now around £6bn to ‘even make the Glazers take note’.
And if Ratcliffe or anyone else is willing to go that high, it means United will break their own record when it comes to being football’s biggest takeover of all time.
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It would gazump the fee the Glazers paid for the Red Devils 17 years ago, which remains a record within the sport.
And it would be considerably more than the £600m the likes of Stan Kroenke and Li Yonghong have paid for Arsenal and AC Milan respectively in the past, too.
The Glazers have long, publicly at least, insisted they’re in it for the long haul at United.
But the more they stay in power, the more they risk the club falling apart and losing value given their torrid form on the field.
United finished sixth in the Premier League table last term, missing out on Champions League football for the fourth time since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
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And they’ve started the new campaign in terrible fashion, falling to chastening defeats against the likes of Brentford and Brighton.
Meanwhile, regarding a potential sale of United, Ratcliffe’s spokesperson addressed the matter on Wednesday by saying: “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.
“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.
“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”
And Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol has added: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe was trying to buy Chelsea because he’s a Chelsea season ticket holder, but he’s actually from Greater Manchester and grew up being a Manchester United supporter.
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“He’s a self-made billionaire and worth about £12bn. He owns and setup the fourth biggest chemical engineering business in the world.
“He has made no secret of his desire to own a Premier League club. He tried to buy Chelsea, coming in with a late bid. He said he had the money to be able to do the deal quickly.
“A lot of people saw that as a dry run for trying to buy Manchester United.
“He’s always said he’s potentially interested in buying United if they were put up for sale and that has now been confirmed.”
United are next in action against Liverpool on Monday night (8pm), with the Red Devils hoping to finally get a first win of the season at the third time of asking.
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