Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has broken his silence after putting the club up for sale.
The 62-year-old spoke of finding ‘strategic alternatives’ for the club and also thanked the departing Cristiano Ronaldo for all he has done for the club.
He was confronted in the street by a Sky News reporter in Palm Beach, Florida, after Tuesday’s shock announcement that the Glazers were inviting fresh investment at United and were potentially open to a sale.
They value the Old Trafford club at upwards of £5billion and there is expected to be plenty of interest in buying one of the biggest names in world football.
Asked why now was the right time, an awkward-looking Glazer replied: ‘As we announced yesterday, the board went through a process and it has decided it is going to look at different strategic alternatives and that’s what we’re doing.’
Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken for the first time in public since the club was put up for sale as the American ownership seek new investment or a total buyout
Glazer, 62, spoke to Sky News in Florida and confirmed that ‘strategic alternatives’ are being sought which club see new owners at Old Trafford
When it was put to Glazer that most United fans feel his family should have sold the club years ago, he answered: ‘Once again, we are going through a process, we will look at all different strategic alternatives and we will see where it leads us.
‘I appreciate you talking to me tonight and I’m going to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.’
Asked about the acrimonious departure of Ronaldo, Glazer said: ‘I will tell you about Cristiano Ronaldo, he is a great Manchester United player and I appreciate everything he has done for the club and I wish him the best of luck in the future.’
It was announced in a 333-word statement late on Tuesday night that the Glazers, who have owned United since 2005, are willing to invite outside investment or even sell completely.
The statement said the club’s board ‘is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club…. To enhance the club’s future growth.’
Joel and Avram Glazer stunned the football world by announcing Manchester United are up for sale – or inviting additional investment – on Tuesday
The opportunity to own one of the world’s biggest and most famous football clubs – or even invest in it – will be appealing to the world’s wealthiest individuals
Fans protests against the Americans’ ownership have grown in ferocity in recent months
The next paragraph explicitly says the Glazers would consider all options, including ‘new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions.’
The statement also outlined that Raine Group, the New York-based merchant bank, have been appointed as United’s ‘exclusive financial advisor.’
Fans who have protested against the Glazers regime with increasing ferocity in recent months reacted with delight at the news though any sale process will likely be a slow one.
United’s US owners are keen to ‘explore strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth’
Ronaldo, 37, was highly critical of the Glazer family during his explosive interview with Piers Morgan – comments which led to his departure from United on Tuesday.
He said: ‘The Glazers, they don’t care about the cub. I mean, professional sport, as you know, Manchester is a marketing club.
‘They will get money from the marketing – the sport, it’s, they don’t really care, in my opinion.
Ronaldo was scathing about the Glazers ownership of Manchester United in his interview
‘The fans, they’re always right. I think the fans should know the truth, should know that the players want the best for the club.
‘I want the best for the club. This why I came to Manchester United.’
Glazer clearly saw no need to further antagonise the situation, instead praising Ronaldo for his contribution to United over two spells.
It came as reports suggested United legend David Beckham was open to holding talks with any potential buyers of United.
Though Beckham cannot afford his old club by himself, he could form part of an investment consortium to purchase them.
David Beckham has said he is open to holding talks with any potential buyers of Man United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly preparing a bid to buy Manchester United from the Glazers
Other reports have said billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the wealthiest man in the UK, will launch a bid to buy out the Glazers.
The United fan was one of the first to express an interest in buying the club when talk of a sale arose in the summer and he was unsuccessful with a late offer to buy Chelsea.