Despite a tumultuous beginning to the season, Manchester United’s ownership situation remains unclear, much to the frustration of the club’s supporters. Recent reports suggest that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is considering acquiring a minority stake in the club in an effort to bring an end to the prolonged uncertainty.
Sky News has revealed that Ratcliffe’s proposal involves purchasing shares from both the Glazer family and the publicly traded stock of the club on the New York Stock Exchange. However, this move is unlikely to satisfy fans who have long called for a complete change in ownership through a full takeover.
Adding to the disappointment among United supporters, any shares acquired by Ratcliffe from the NYSE would have significantly less voting power compared to the Class B shares held by the Glazer family. Essentially, Ratcliffe could potentially own approximately 25% of Manchester United shares but only control around 6% of the voting influence.
At the start of the season, the Manchester United Supporter’s Trust (MUST) characterized the Glazer family’s actions as a form of hostage-taking, both of the club and its supporters. MUST stated, “As time goes on, this feels less like a sales process and more like the Glazer family is holding Manchester United and its fans hostage. The united message of fans is clear – sell the club. And if they do not intend to do so, at least have the courage to admit it and explain the charade of the last nine months.”
MUST also noted that with the season already underway, discontent among supporters is likely to intensify, especially given Manchester United’s poor start.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged regarding Sheikh Jassim’s interest in taking full ownership of the club from the Glazer family. Sheikh Jassim has outlined substantial investment plans for both on and off the pitch, emphasizing that his bid represents “the best solution for the club, fans, and the local community.”