Josh Harris and David Blitzer have emerged in the running to invest in Manchester United, which could see the Glazer family remain at the club. The American duo are considering joining Sir Jim Ratcliffe in the takeover frame, potentially opening the door for a nightmare scenario for United fans.
Ratcliffe and his business INEOS, the world’s fourth-largest chemical company, came forward as the first public suitors earlier this week.
And other prospective bidders are expected to join them in the coming weeks, with the Raine group setting a mid-February deadline with the view of completing a deal by the end of the season.
Harris and Blitzer could be one of the next to officially enter the picture, but not with a full-scale takeover in mind.
According to the EmailHarris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment are exploring a minority stake in United, allowing the Glazers to retain a controlling share at Old Trafford.
It’s claimed a full-scale takeover isn’t a certainty, despite the controversial owners suggesting they were open to walking away from the club after 18 years at the helm.
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The report adds that acquisition experts believe United will be valued or sold at around £7billion, making it the biggest sale in football history.
But the Glazers are ‘unclear’ whether to relinquish control of one of the world’s biggest sporting outfits as supporters anxiously await updates.
Such a fee could deter Ratcliffe, who dropped out of the running for Chelsea after hesitation over the £4.25bn that the Raine group demanded.
Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment were also unsuccessful in buying Chelsea as Todd Boehly successfully took over the reins from Roman Abramovich.
Given Harris and Blitzer are both 18 per cent shareholders in Premier League rivals Crystal Palace, they would have to cash in if they were to buy shares in United.
But if the £7bn valuation is too high a price for all parties involved in the running, they will smell the opportunity for a minority stake.
After almost two decades of mismanagement from the top in M16, temporarily soothed by Sir Alex Ferguson’s brilliance, United fans are desperate for a clean slate under new leaders.
It will make Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment’s interest, and the others eyeing a minority share, a worrying prospect as the process ramps up over the next month.
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