Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer broke his silence after putting the club up for sale.
The 62-year-old spoke of finding ‘strategic alternatives’ for the club and also thanked the departure Cristiano Ronaldo for all he has done for the club.
He was confronted in the street with a Sky News journalist in Palm Beach, Floridaafter Tuesday’s shock announcement that the Glazers were inviting new investment at United and were potentially open to a sale.
They value the Old Trafford club at over £5billion and the purchase of one of the biggest names in world football is expected to spark strong interest.
Asked why now was the right time, an awkward-looking Glazer replied: “As we announced yesterday, the board went through a process and they decided they were going to looking at different strategic alternatives and that’s what we’re doing.”
Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken publicly for the first time since the club went up for sale as the American ownership seeks new investment or a full takeover.
Glazer, 62, spoke to Sky News in Florida and confirmed ‘strategic alternatives’ are being sought, which club sees new owners at Old Trafford
When Glazer was told that most United fans felt his family should have sold the club years ago, he replied: “Once again we are following a process, we will look at all the different strategic alternatives and we’ll see where it takes us.
“I appreciate you talking to me tonight and I’m going to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.”
Asked about Ronaldo’s acrimonious departure, Glazer said: “I’m going to tell you about Cristiano Ronaldo, he’s a great Manchester United player and I appreciate everything he has done for the club and I wish him the best. chances in the future.”
It was announced in a 333-word statement late Tuesday night that the Glazers, who have owned United since 2005, are ready to invite outside investment or even sell out altogether.
The statement said the club’s board is “initiating a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club…. To promote the future growth of the club.’
Joel and Avram Glazer stunned the footballing world by announcing Manchester United were for sale – or inviting further investment – on Tuesday
The opportunity to own one of the biggest and most famous football clubs in the world – or even invest in it – will appeal to the world’s wealthiest people
Fan protests against US ownership have grown in ferocity in recent months
The next paragraph explicitly states that the Glazers would consider all options, including “new investment in the club, sale or other transactions”.
The statement also highlighted that Raine Group, the New York-based merchant bank, has been appointed as United’s “exclusive financial advisor”.
Fans who have protested the Glazers diet with increasing ferocity in recent months reacted with joy to the news, although any sales process will likely be slow.
United’s US owners want to ‘explore strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth’
Ronaldo, 37, was highly critical of the Glazer family during his explosive interview with Piers Morgan – comments which led to his departure from United on Tuesday.
He said, “The Glazers, they don’t care about the little one. I mean, professional sport, as you know, Manchester is a marketing club.
“They’ll get money from marketing – from sport, that is, they really don’t care, in my opinion.”
Ronaldo was scathing about Glazers ownership of Manchester United in his interview
“The fans, they are always right. I think the fans should know the truth, should know that the players want the best for the club.
“I want the best for the club. That’s why I came to Manchester United.
Glazer clearly saw no need to upset the situation further, instead praising Ronaldo for his contribution to United over two spells.
He came as the reports suggested United legend David Beckham was open to talks with any potential United buyer.
Although Beckham cannot afford his former club on his own, he could be part of an investment consortium to buy them.
David Beckham has said he is open to talks with any potential Man United buyer
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is preparing an offer to buy Manchester United from the Glazers
Other reports said billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest man, will launch an offer to buy out the Glazers.
The United fan was one of the first to express his interest in buying the club when talk of a sale this summer fell through with a late bid to buy Chelsea.