The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have called for a change in ownership after the Glazer family announced they were considering selling the Old Trafford club.
The Glazers, who took over Manchester United in 2005, on Tuesday announced plans to identify “strategic alternatives” that could lead to a potential sale of their asset.
A statement said the process will consider a number of options “including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company”.
News of a potential sale has led MUST to write an open letter to the Glazers, arguing that new owners are needed due to the amount of investment that is required in the club.
They said: “Last night you made a statement that most Manchester United fans have wanted to hear for the last 17 years. Manchester United, it is perfectly clear, is up for sale.
“You, more than anyone, can see we are in desperate need of new investment, and that can only come with new ownership.
“The last 17 years has been characterised by debt and decline – on-the-field and off it. The vast majority of United fans will agree with the conclusion you appear to have also reached – it’s time for change.
“Fans will want to carefully scrutinise any new prospective owner – most of all we implore them not to repeat the mistakes you did – of alienating the fans that represent the greatest asset of Manchester United.
“You have made huge amounts of money from Manchester United. Hundreds of millions of pounds out, without a single penny of investment in. Whatever commercial objective you had in 2005, we suspect you have met it.
“So now you can do two things for your legacy – the first is to prioritise the best interests of Manchester United Football Club over the financial interests of the selling shareholders. Our club, at this moment in time more than ever, needs the right ownership and that should be the priority rather than simply the highest bidders and highest return for you.
“Second, we implore you to move with speed. In football, any sort of hiatus or uncertainty is disastrous. If you have decided to sell, we urge you to do it quickly to allow the club to move on without any delay.
“We have a terrific new manager, and we see can all see recent progress on the field. So, conclude your review process as quickly as possible, identify the best new ownership for the Football Club, and get the sale done so Erik ten Hag has the certainty he needs to invest in the playing squad and we bring in the much needed investment for the stadium to restore Manchester United to its proper position.
“Now is the time for change in the best interests of Manchester United.”
The Raine Group, who were previously employed by Roman Abramovich to manage the sale of Chelsea, will be acting as United’s ‘exclusive financial advisor’ during the process.
Rothschild and Co. will act as exclusive financial advisors to the Glazer family shareholders.
US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer first won control of Manchester United in a £790 million takeover bid in 2005.
But their 17-year reign in charge of the Premier League club has been dominated by fan protests and declining performance.
United are currently fifth in the Premier League.
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