The Glazer family could sell Manchester United after a scandal with the European Super League and subsequent protests by supporters if the buyer’s price is “correct,” according to football sponsorship expert Ian George.
Fans have publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the club’s owners, who first acquired the club in 2005, since United announced its share of plans to join the torn Super League, and anger at the club’s hierarchy has increased among parts of the fan base.
In the latest demonstration, which she saw The postponed Premier League match with Liverpool at Old Trafford, some fans broke into the stadium and the pitch while there was a clash with police. That same afternoon, a group of fans also protested in front of the Lowry Hotel in downtown Manchester where the United team was staying.
Ahead of the Europa League semi-final clash with Roma on Thursday, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who personally apologized to the Glazers for the Super League’s proposed plans, said he wanted fans to be heard, but that the protests must be “civilized”.
U.S. Sky News correspondent Sally Lockwood caught up with Avram Glazer in Florida and gave him a chance to respond to fans ’concerns, but the 60-year-old declined to answer any of her questions.
Ian George, a football sponsorship expert who has dealt with the Glazers ’office, believes that if the buyer is willing to market an offer of several billion pounds, it is possible that United’s ownership could pass into other hands.
George said Heavenly sports news: “It’s my personal opinion. I think maybe that if you look at the Big Six clubs, with the Glazers I think with the approach of 20 years of ownership some people will feel it’s time to move on.
Sponsors will influence that, there are various fan groups who think “enough is enough.” Chances are they will sell for a far higher price than they bought.But I would like this to stay balanced, the big six were very good for the game as a whole.
“Fans don’t like what they’ve seen recently, but they also like their teams to do well, and these owners have spent a lot of money. Fans might not want to go to a local fan-owned model where the money coming to the club would be much less .I’m not a big fan of the German model, that’s just my opinion.
“But I believe the price will be right and there will be a handful of people around the world who could afford two, three or four billion, which will undoubtedly require customs.”
Data released in March showing their second-quarter accounts reveal United’s debt rose to £ 455.5 million.
In addition to further planned protests, a group of United fans also launched a campaign to boycott the club’s commercial partners in an attempt to put pressure on U.S. owners.
Trust of Manchester United fans, who wrote an open letter to Joel Glazer which included a ‘four-point reform plan’ that requires an increased level of fan involvement, found that thousands of fans have joined their cause as full members over the past week, and many of them also support donations. The big increase in membership follows the collapse of the ESL and Joel Glazer’s apology to United fans.
Keith Harris, a former financial adviser at United and part of the Red Knights ’efforts to buy the club from the Glazers in 2010, urged fans to continue protesting and told Heavenly sports news they should refuse to attend matches.
As dissatisfaction grows with Glazer ownership, George thinks there is a likelihood that some Big Six presidents and owners will listen to offers amid continued disruption.
“We’ll see, apologies are made and we’re coming towards the end of the season. I think the start of next season will be very interesting. But there are jobs to be done, I think with one or two appetites it could be there if the price is right,” he added.
“I think the recent protests at Manchester United and Arsenal have certainly focused the attention of fans and the‘ big six ’and some might consider investing if they can achieve the right deal.
“It’s purely my opinion, I didn’t talk to the owners in person, I inquired, but I think if people are willing to pay the required tariff, there might be some business, but we’ll have to wait and see, who knows.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated the need to eavesdrop on Manchester United supporters, but said the protests must be “civilized” and believes Sunday’s demonstrations against Glazer “have gone too far”.
Solskjaer said: “It was a difficult day for us. Of course we wanted to play, we wanted to beat Liverpool for the fans, because our job has to be to achieve good performance and good results on the field.
“Like I said before the game, we have to listen. We have to hear the voice of the fans.
“Everyone has the right to protest. However, it must be civilized.
“Unfortunately, when you break in and the cops get hurt, lifelong scars, it’s too far.
“When he gets out of control like this, it’s a matter for the police. It’s not about showing your opinion anymore.”