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Glazers unwilling to sell Manchester United

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Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United’s owners are not interested in giving up control of the club, according to reports.

According to a story that we are ripping off from the Express newspaper, who ripped it off from the Athletic, the Glazer family have no intention of selling a controlling interest the team.

There has long been speculation that they would sell the club, though only if an enormous offer above the stock market valuation came in for United.

There were talks with Saudi Arabian investors last year when they were considering giving up some of the ownership of the club, but that would have seen only around 20% of the club being given up to outside owners. Because of the way the voting shares are held in the hands of the Glazer family, there would likely have been only limited influence for any potential new owners.

Shares that trade on the New York Stock Exchange would not - in their totality - be enough to given any owner the chance to influence the club legally as they do not carry sufficient voting rights.

However, the report today says that the Glazer family largely remains keen on controlling the club for the foreseeable future. That may be explained by the fact that there are so few clubs of United’s reach and size that can be changed hands. Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus all have cultural or legal limitations on who can own them, and how they can be owned.

With the problems facing other clubs in the coronavirus pandemic, the owners may even see an opportunity to use their comfortable financial position to pull closer to their usual competition after years of under-performance. However, given their largely pitiful business performance elsewhere, maybe they will manage to get the club relegated by 2025.