The Glazer family, owners of English Premier League football club Manchester United, made it clear today that the club is not for sale despite facing growing discontent from fans and reported offers to purchase the club.
"The board notes the recent press speculation regarding a possible bid for Manchester United," a statement on the club's website said. "The owners remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club. Manchester United is not for sale and the owners will not entertain any offers," it concluded.
In recent months, there has been much speculation that a group of businessmen and investors, knows as the Red Knights, plan to make an offer for the club. Today's announcement is a clear sign that despite their debts, the US-based Glazers plan to remain as owners of the club.
This announcement coincided with the release of the club's quarterly financial statement, which show gross debt has decreased from £543.3 million last year to £520.9 million. This is due in part to a controversial refinancing plan in January that included issuing £500 million in bonds to ease the immediate debt burden.
Fans have criticised the family owners for the level of debt the club has accumulated under their tenure, and show their discontent by adopting the club's original colours of green and gold on match day.
Malcolm Glazer, 81, inherited a watch parts business from his father when he was 15 and grew it into an international family empire, First Allied Corporation, that includes shopping malls and other sports teams. Glazer purchased a majority share in Manchester United in 2005, although his sons Joel, Bryan and Edward all serve as vice-presidents at First Allied and now manage most of his assets.
Want to get the latest family business/family office news direct to your desktop? Click here to register to receive our weekly newsletter
Are you a member of a multigenerational family business or family office? Click here to subscribe to our magazines