Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken for the first time since it was announced the club could be 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 did not respond when asked why he was now considering selling, saying only that “the board went through a process” and decided now was the right time to explore his options.
The club confirmed on Wednesday Sky News Exclusive that was start a review designed to drive the club’s success – which included finding a potential sale.
Many Manchester United fans have long campaigned against the club’s American owners and accused them of lacking investment and putting the club in too much debt.
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.
Glazers reportedly furious over remarks and Ronaldo this week left United immediately by mutual consent.
But Avram Glazer refused to be drawn in 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 wish him the best of luck. for the future.”
Mr Glazer then masked a question about why the Portuguese player had to leave the club and went to a restaurant.
Jaded Manchester United fans are hoping better days could be around the corner after years of underperformance since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
However, the Glazers ending their 17-year ownership are not guaranteed.
A partial sale to new investors, with funds raised for the redevelopment of Old Trafford, is a potential outcome, says Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman.
If the Glazers pull out of the club altogether, potential buyers include British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a Manchester-born fan of the club.
How ‘scavenger’ Glazers left Old Trafford ‘rusty’ and in a ‘mess’
He said in the summer he would be interested if the club was for salebut in October he revealed he had met the Glazers and they “don’t want to sell”.
Billionaires around the world would also likely be tied to the deals, as would sovereign investors hoping to emulate the takeover of Newcastle United – now owned by Saudi state-backed investors.
Manchester United’s review comes weeks after Liverpool’s American owners have said they are also open to offers and had already attracted interest from groups looking to buy shares.