English football's most celebrated club made a twin twin set of announcements Tuesday. The American owners of Manchester United have confirmed that they are open to selling Premier League giants.
"As we seek to continue building on the club's history of success, the board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives," Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, executive co-chairmen and directors of United, said in the statement.
"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," the statement said.
This could include "new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company," it added.
Earlier on Tuesday, soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo parted ways with Manchester United.
The decision was announced with immediate effect and "by mutual agreement," the club said.
Viacom18 Sports expert Luis Figo said that a mutual agreement to part ways was beneficial for both parties after Manchester United announced that Ronaldo is to leave the club. “No, not at all. After all the situations that came, I think it was the decision of both. A mutual agreement – I think is beneficial for both. For himself because he was not playing and for the club that feels that the player doesn’t want to stay. He’s of course a special player, an important player but at the same time he was not playing, not being an option for the coach. After I think the interview - he was complaining about the club and the club decided with a mutual agreement to separate the destiny of both. Well, it’s like that – mutual agreement. Everyone’s happy,” said Figo on VISA Match Centre.
The Portuguese legend further spoke about Ronaldo’s future after becoming a free agent. “Well, I don’t know. I think it’s always a personal decision, depending on the goals he has, and the offers that are coming now. But this is a personal and sportive decision of his, depending on the clubs that want him.”
Club statement in full
Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU), one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today (Wednesday) that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
The process is designed to enhance the club's future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
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.
Executive Co-Chairmen and Directors, Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said, “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers. As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives. 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. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
The Raine Group is acting as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is legal counsel to the Company.
Rothschild and Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Glazer family shareholders.
There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the Company. Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the Board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.