Man Utd legend Neville slams ‘classless’ Glazers over ‘shoddy’ sale process and warns of ‘toxic’ future

Joe Williams
Man Utd legend Gary Neville looks annoyed

Man Utd legend Gary Neville thinks the “classless” Glazers are risking a “toxic” backlash from fans if they remain at the club.

The Glazers acquired the club for £750million in a highly-leveraged deal in 2005. After a controversial reign, they announced they were seeking “strategic alternatives” that could include a sale last year.

Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are the two main bidders who have gone public with their interest in the club but their second offers of around £5bn also ‘fall short’ of the Glazers’ reported £6bn demands.

And now reports yesterday claim there will be a third round of bids to take over Man Utd with Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol insisting that Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are “both expected to put in final offers”.

Solhekol told Sky Sports: “Manchester United’s sale process is going to enter a third round of bidding.

“Rival bidders have been asked by Raine Group, the firm handling the sale, to submit their final offers by the end of April. There are believed to be seven interested parties, the majority of whom want to buy a minority stake in the club.

“The two leading bidders who want to buy out the Glazers – Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe – are both expected to put in final offers before the deadline. The Glazers want at least £6bn to sell United.

“Sheikh Jassim is believed to be “willing to overpay” for United with a figure closer to the Glazers’ valuation. It was previously understood the Qatari bidders were determined not to pay over the odds for the club, but that stance softened after his delegation’s visit to Old Trafford in March.

“Sheikh Jassim’s representatives asked for an extension in the previous round of bidding, but the Qatari group did eventually submit an offer which is said to be highly competitive but also considered and rational.

“British billionaire Ratcliffe’s INEOS delegation also visited Old Trafford and Carrington before making a second bid for United.

“Elliott Management has made an offer to buy a minority stake in the club. The US hedge fund has also offered to finance other parties interested in investing in United and that offer still stands.”

And Neville is annoyed at the way the Man Utd owners have gone about trying to sell the club with the Red Devils legend fearing a backlash if the Glazers eventually stay on.

Neville wrote on Twitter: “They’re making it up as they go along! Shoddy way to run a sale process.

“They need to get out by the end of May to allow the new owner a fighting chance to impact the next transfer window and get moving!

“Taking it to a third round is just classless. The market has obviously not given them the answer they want!

“It’s like they’ve made a pact to each other that they won’t go for less than £1billion for each family member (five of them).

“If they stay in after all this it will be toxic!”

Neville added: “If they don’t sell they will have to bring investors in. They can’t afford to run it themselves now with the amount owed and capital required to upgrade the facilities.

“They’re not daft. They know the stadium, training ground, women’s and youth stadiums have to be delivered to keep up or they just depreciate everything! The longer they leave it the more expensive it becomes!”

Touching on their lack of openness around the sale, Neville continued: “A football club sale should be transparent. I’d hope with regulation this can be dealt with.”

Before making one last comment on the potential takeover: “I think they will go eventually as it will be unbearable for them. If they do somehow think they can stay in then any new investor that comes in with them as partners need to think seriously about their brand damage.”

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