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Revealed: Why are the Glazers selling Man Utd

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The Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United has long caused controversy ever since their leveraged buyout of the club in 2005.

Supporters have endured some tough times by United’s standards in recent years, with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool establishing themselves as worthy title competitors ahead of the Red Devils.

However, there appears to be some hope that United could return to their old glorious ways with the news that the Glazers may finally be ready to step away from the club.

What’s happened?

Man Utd have confirmed the club could be sold as the Glazers ‘consider all strategic alternatives’.

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“Manchester United plc announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club,” a statement read.

“The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.

“As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.

“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.”

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Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer added: “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers.

“As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.

“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”

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The Raine Group, who facilitated the recent sale of Chelsea, will act as United’s financial advisors throughout any selling process.

The 2005 takeover

The Glazer family took control of Manchester United in 2005, with the club having been debt free since the 1930s, when James Gibson saved the institution from bankruptcy.

While on-field success was still forthcoming when Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge of a side challenging for and winning titles domestically and in Europe, off-pitch matters started to pile up.

The club’s debut immediately rose to £660m as the Glazers used loans to finance the takeover against United’s assets, effectively hamstringing the club with money being taken out of it. An estimated sum of £1.6bn has been taken out of the club over the years, in excess of £740m being used for interest on debt, another £147m paying for debt repayments, £166m in dividends and nearly £80m in director remuneration and management fees. That’s a lot of money.

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Key Glazer figures

Avram Glazer is United’s current co-chairman and director. He is not overly involved in the day-to-day running of Man Utd and was the subject of fierce jeers when he made a rare stadium appearance at the 2022/23 opening day defeat to Brighton. He inherited an empire of real estate from late father Malcolm and part owns NFL team Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have won the Super Bowl twice during the family’s tenure.

Joel Glazer is United’s executive co-chairman and director. He takes a more hands-on approach with United and is seen as the more committed Glazer sibling to the club. He is also said to sanction all major player dealings in and out of the club. Joel is also co-owner of the Bucs in Tampa, but additionally serves as a co-chairman alongside brothers Bryan and Edward. Sister Darcie Glazer Kassewitz is co-owner and president of the NFL franchise. Kevin is co-owner but not co-chairman.

Bryan, Edward, Darcie and Kevin are all non-executive directors on the Manchester United Ltd board.

Fan unrest

The Glazer family have been the targets of many fan protests from Man Utd supporters over the years, especially over the past decade following the club’s on-pitch decline.

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A lack of foresight has been attributed to the owners, especially with regards to player signings and managerial appointments. A huge amount of incoming transfers at Old Trafford have been misses, leading to the current rebuild that new manager Erik ten Hag is attempting to oversee.

Their interest in a proposed European Super League also drew the wrath of United fans – alongside most supporters around the world – and protests have been regular at games in Manchester in recent seasons.

A group of Red Devils supporters broke into Old Trafford in 2021 when Covid-19 restrictions were still in place in the United Kingdom, while a march on the club’s ground also took place in August 2022 before a victory over rivals Liverpool. Chants of ‘We want Glazers out’ could be heard.

There has also been no shortage of drama since Cristiano Ronaldo’s return. Fans were slightly in favour of the Portugal international’s return during a 2021 summer window where things seemed to be on the up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he was sacked months into the season and replaced with Ralf Rangnick, who would oversee the end of the club’s worst ever Premier League campaign before leaving without the director role he was previously offered.

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Old Trafford is in dire need of modernisation, while the Carrington training base is also outdated and in need of some upgrading.

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Eric Dier on England’s penalty record

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Eric Dier has insisted that England have broken their ‘mental barrier’ in penalty shootouts ahead of their World Cup round of 16 clash with Senegal.

The Three Lions are set to face off against the AFCON champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday evening, and while many expect England to see off Senegal in normal time, fears remain of the lottery of a penalty shootout if the game ends in a draw.

England’s record in penalty shootouts down the years has been well documented, with the victory over Colombia at the 2018 tournament the first time the nation has ever won a World Cup penalty shootout.

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Speaking about the Three Lions’ penalty hoodoo, Dier stated that through the shootout win over Colombia, England were able to get over their mental barrier: “There are ifs, buts and maybes aren’t there?

Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Toby Cudworth & La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter to look back on the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!

“I feel like that World Cup, it’s difficult for me to say because I was involved, but I felt in that game we broke down a lot of mental barriers and stereotypes that exist in English football surrounding things like knockout games and penalty shootouts and playing against that type of opposition as well.

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“I think that game I remember it felt at the time like it was a weight off our shoulders and I think you saw that in the next game against Sweden (in the quarter-final).

“No one was talking about us winning it and that game was a moment in which we all felt like we had got over a few hurdles and now we were free to just play and some of the weight of history had been removed from our backs.

“I’m definitely not scared to take a penalty. I’d be nervous in the moment but I’m not scared to do it. To be honest, my pen against Colombia when Pickford saved the penalty before, it made my penalty a lot easier.

“It was to win it, not to get knocked out, so it’s a completely different psychology. When he saved his, it was a lot easier for me. He helped me a lot.”

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How many teams will play at the 2026 World Cup?

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The World Cup is the biggest event in global football, with nations across the planet dreaming of lifting the iconic trophy.

The tournament has changed in style and format over the years, though the 2026 edition has attracted attention for some key changes which may alter the playing schedule in a way we haven’t seen for decades.

With all sorts of talk over the number of teams playing and the tournament’s format, here’s what you need to know.

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In January 2017, the FIFA Council voted unanimously to increase the number of teams participating from 32 to 48. That decision was met with criticism, especially from organisations in Europe.

The European Club Association, La Liga president Javier Tebas and then Germany manager Joachim Low were among those who argued teams where already playing too many games.

It was also seen as a political decision from FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who had run his election campaign on the promise of involving more countries in the World Cup.

Given the increase of sides from the 2026 World Cup, a change of format is expected. The initial vote in 2017 declared there would be 16 groups each consisting of three teams, with the top two reaching the knockout stage which will include 32 teams.

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The overall amount of matches will increase from 64 to 80, though the finalists will still only play seven games each under the proposals.

In late 2022, it was revealed FIFA are becoming open to keeping the current group stage process involving four teams each, with some revealing concerns over potential dead rubbers on the final matchdays of each group.

The three-game group stage proposal has attracted criticism. There have been concerns over a potential rise in collusion as seen in previous group matches.

The 1982 Disgrace of Gijon saw West Germany and Austria play out a 1-0 win for the Germans, allowing both sides to go through at the expense of Algeria, who had played earlier in the day. The game was met with outrage, though FIFA denied any wrongdoing on either side.

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The 2022 World Cup delivered plenty of entertainment during the group stage, with Group D in particular throwing up drama in the Poland vs Argentina and Saudi Arabia vs Mexico games.

Qualification for a 48-team World Cup would also change as more teams can make the final cut. Asian, African and CONCACAF sides all have greater chances to reach FIFA’s flagship event, while a spot for an Oceania side is now guaranteed.

The USA, Canada and Mexico and jointly host the 2026 World Cup. 23 cities across the three nations will host games, with the US taking 60 matches. The joint bid comfortably saw off an effort from Morocco to host the tournament.



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Virgil van Dijk comments on Liverpool being put up for sale

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Virgil van Dijk has claimed Liverpool will remain one of the biggest clubs in the world regardless of FSG’s potential sale.

The centre-back is currently on international duty with the Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar, helping his side safely navigate a round of 16 clash with USMNT to book a place in the quarter-finals.

Speaking at the press conference after that 3-1 win over the USA, Van Dijk was asked about the news that Liverpool’s owners FSG are preparing to sell the club.

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“I have full trust in Liverpool that they will be fine. We are a very established club, one of the biggest in the world and that will stay that way. Whoever comes in to fill in those roles, they will do very well. I am aware of everything that is happening.

Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Toby Cudworth & La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter to look back on the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Whether I am taking it in and doing something with it right now, I don’t think so because the full focus is on the World Cup but hopefully everything will be sorted and clarified when I am back. At this point, I am definitely not thinking about it.”

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The Fenway Sports Group recently announced Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were assisting with the potential sale of the Anfield club.

In terms of potential suitors, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal has already expressed his desire for the nation to get involved with Liverpool.



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