Avram Glazer’s presence at Wembley as Manchester United lifted the first trophy of the Erik ten Hag era has “fed growing fears the club will not be sold outright,” Sky Sports News has been told.
Sources that have worked with the owners indicate the executive co-chairman and his brother Joel are reluctant to cede United, in contrast to their siblings Kevin, Edward, Bryan and Darcie – a position hardened by “underwhelming indicative offers.”
The Glazers expected more interest to be registered to The Raine Group by their soft deadline for proposals on February 17. Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are the only public bidders, and their tenders fall short of the £6bn being targeted.
Formal offers would need to be significantly increased to tempt the Glazers into an outright sale. Their feeling is that United’s stature, pull around the globe especially in emerging markets and potential for future growth revenue has been underestimated. This is even factoring in the club’s net debt of £656m, transfer fees owed and the enormous cost of enhancing the infrastructure.
Avram Glazer, who was in the company of Sir Alex Ferguson as a six-year wait for a trophy was ended in Carabao Cup final victory over Newcastle, has previously said the process to explore strategic alternatives is “not necessarily a sale.”
The club’s statement on the matter ended with the kicker that “there can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the company.”
As recently as October, Ratcliffe revealed that the Glazers “do not want to sell.”
Sources say that the market has been slightly misread after the scale of interest when Chelsea was available to buy in contrasting circumstances.
This is also evident in John W. Henry announcing that Fenway Sports Group would retain control of Liverpool and only investment is currently being considered.
United fans made their stance clear even amid the joy of Sunday’s win. “We want Glazers out” was the most consistent chant at Wembley.
When asked about Avram’s attendance of the final, Ten Hag said: “He was really happy for the club, as our owner. He wanted to be part of it. He was in the dressing room, it was good he was here. It showed his intentions.”
On what those intentions are, he added: “I don’t know, I’m not involved in that process but the way he is here, you feel he is committed. What he wants, that is not for me [to say]. I have to lead this team. Others in the club are involved in decisions about ownership.”