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Manchester United Supporters’ Trust welcomes potential sale

Manchester United fans will have a “spring in their step” at the news the Glazer family is considering selling, says the club’s supporters’ trust.

The American owners announced on Tuesday they were looking to “explore strategic alternatives”.

The move follows years of protest from fans since the Glazers bought the club for £790m ($1.34bn) in 2005.

“This is good news,” said Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (Must) communications director Chris Rumfitt.

“It very much looks like they have hung up the ‘for sale’ sign around the decaying gates of Old Trafford.

“Every Manchester United fan has woken up with a bit more of a spring in their step this morning.”

The club’s announcement said the board would “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company”.

It added the process “will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club”.

Rumfitt said Must would be seeking an immediate clarification of the Glazer family’s intentions.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he added: “If that [selling the club] is not their intention, they need to clear that up pretty quickly and they haven’t done so.”

In 2012, the Glazers sold 10% of their holding via a stock listing and have sold further shares in the following years.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, 70, said he would be interested in buying United following a Bloomberg reportexternal-link that the Glazer family were willing to sell a minority stake but then later stated the owners had told him they did not want to sell.

Rumfitt said Must members would “judge any prospective owner on their merits”.

He added: “Many fans would probably have a preference for a British owner but we are realistic. We look at the world around us and who is buying football clubs and in the large majority of cases they are not British.

“It is about dialogue with the fans, shared ownership with the fans and investment in the club. Wherever they come from, that matters less to us than their willingness to commit to those three priorities.”

American investment firm Raine Group, who handled Chelsea’s £4.25bn sale in May, is exclusively advising United.

The 13-time Premier League winners have not won the title since 2013 and have not won a trophy since claiming the Europa League and EFL Cup in 2017.

There have been multiple protests against the Glazers’ ownership in recent years, including one in May 2021 that caused United’s home league match against Liverpool to be postponed.

Thousands of supporters marched to Old Trafford in protest in August before the same fixture this season.

United were part of the failed European Super League project that rapidly collapsed in April 2021. United co-chairman Joel Glazer later apologised for the unrest it caused.

He has since attended fans’ forums in the wake of supporter unrest and pledged to make shares available to the club’s followers.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Manchester United with immediate effect on Tuesday, criticised the club ownership in an interview last week – including saying the Glazer family “don’t care about the club” on the sporting side.

The move to sell United comes after Liverpool chairman Tom Werner said Fenway Sports Group were “exploring a sale”.

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