Manchester United could have enjoyed a far smoother summer transfer window had the club’s proposed takeover process finished on time as promised.
The Glazers had indicated as far back as last November that the club could be sold when they initiated a strategic review but the bidding process has dragged on.
Both public bidders Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals firm INEOS, have put in their final bids and the process was initially expected to be complete within the first quarter of the year.
United’s protracted takeover process
But as The Manchester Evening News reported on Friday, none of them have heard back from the American owners with there being a “real concern” the Glazers may not sell United.
Sheikh Jassim, who was bidding for 100 per cent of the club, was eager to close the deal so as to inject further funds into the transfer kitty and try and bring in global superstars. However, none of those plans look like coming true any time soon.
Ultimately, this protracted takeover saga has led to a reduced transfer kitty for Erik ten Hag with the club scrambling to sell first-team players to raise further capital. So far, that plan is not going so well.
It has been reported multiple times in the past that the major obstacle facing the sale of the club was the fact that all six Glazer siblings were not on the same boat with regards to the proposed sale.
Joel and Avram Glazer, the United co-chairmen, were said to be reluctant to sell while their siblings Bryan, Edward, Kevin and Darcie, who also sit on the United board, were more eager.
“In the recent book Grit, Rigour & Humour: The Ineos Story, Ratcliffe admitted United the vested interests of six siblings has been an issue during discussions to buy the club,” Samuel Luckhurst wrote in his report.
The most concerning aspect of the whole saga is the fact that sources inside the Raine Group, the investment banking firm tasked with conducting the bidding process, are of the opinion that United might never have been there for sale.
This all could just have been a fruitless exercise from the Glazers to gauge the amount that they could receive if they actually did decide to sell.
Fear that United are actually not for sale
“A financial source claimed figures connected to the Raine Group, the investment banking firm hired by the Glazers, believe they have been tasked with selling something that isn’t really for sale.”
Fans are all set to keep protesting against the greedy American family with Old Trafford, Carrington, and the first team needing an injection of funds.
The Glazers could, in the end, decide to bring in a minority investor in order to help finance huge capital projects like the redevelopment of the Old Trafford stadium and Carrington training ground.
Several US investment companies – Elliott Management, the Carlyle Group and Ares Management – are said to be ready and willing.