Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken for the first time since announcing the club could be up for sale.
Sky News tracked him down near his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and he spoke of finding “strategic alternatives” for the club and also responded to criticism from Cristiano Ronaldo.
He didn’t answer when asked why he was now considering selling, saying only that “the board was going through a process” and decided now was the time to explore their options.
The club confirmed a Excluding Sky News that it was start a review designed to increase the club’s success – including looking at a potential sale.
A lot Manchester United fans have long campaigned against the club’s American owners, accusing them of lacking investment and saddling the club with over-indebtedness.
The club’s facilities, manager Erik ten Hag and the attitude of the Glazers were also criticized by Cristiano Ronaldo in a recent interview with Piers Morgan.
The Glazers were reportedly furious over the comments and Ronaldo this week immediately left United by mutual consent.
But Avram Glazer refused to be swayed by the striker’s claim – echoed by many fans – that his family “don’t care about the club”.
He told Sky News: “Well I’ll tell you about Cristiano Ronaldo – he’s a great Manchester United player, I appreciate everything he’s done for the club and I wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Mr Glazer then ignored a question as to why the Portuguese player had to leave the club and walked away to a restaurant.
Jaded Manchester United fans hope better days may be just around the corner after years of underperformance since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Ending their 17-year ownership of the Glazers isn’t guaranteed, though.
A partial sale to new investors, raising money for the redevelopment of Old Trafford, is one possible outcome, says Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman.
If the Glazers pull out of the club completely, potential buyers would include British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a Manchester-born fan of the club.
How ‘scavenger’ Glazers left Old Trafford ‘rusting’ and in a ‘mess’
He said in the summer he would be interested if the club was for salebut revealed in October that he had met with the Glazers and they “don’t want to sell”.
Billionaires from around the world would also likely be linked to bids, as would sovereign investors hoping to replicate the takeover of Newcastle United – now owned by Saudi state-backed investors.
Manchester United’s assessment comes a few weeks later Liverpool’s American owners said they were also open to offers and already had interest from groups wanting to buy shares.