With that in mind, it didn’t take long for the bookmakers to set the odds for who might come in next were the Glazers actually to agree to a sale and while there are some familiar names, others might come as a bit of a surprise.
As you can see, top of the list is no surprise: Failsworth-born billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe leads the odds with an estimated 25% chance of buying out Man United.
Said to be one of the richest men in the UK, Ratcliffe has been seen as arguably the most serious bidder for some time now, despite being told the club was “not for sale” back in October.
Meanwhile, Michael Knighton — who previously hoped to head up a consortium bid involving Ratcliffe’s immense wealth and already tried to buy United more than three decades ago — sits in third, though he’s made it clear that any potential takeover would require help with financing.
Sat in second are the Dubai Sovereign Group, i.e. a state-run fund akin to Manchester City‘s Abu Dhabi Group, PSG’s Qatari owners or Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabia administration.
Dubai are yet to join the premier footballing fray when it comes to putting the wealth of an entire nation’s investment fund into a sporting franchise but it seems like only a matter of time before they do.
Then there’s Jim O’Neill, a.k.a, the Lord and Baron of Gatley, who previously tried to launch a hostile takeover back in 2012. He hasn’t been in the conversation for some time but given his Goldman Sachs background, could be a serious option.
As for David Beckham, we imagine he’s too busy running Inter Miami and his part in Salford City via the Project 92 ownership group — though that Qatar money certainly won’t have hurt his chances. And, again, who knows, he could form part of a consortium.
Jim O’Neill (via GOV.UK)Credit: David Beckham (via Instagram)
On to US investors with the Harris/Blitzer Group, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, as well as the Pagliuca/Tanenbaum Group, who run the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Both groups have expressed interest in buying Premier League clubs in the past and as we have seen with Chelsea’s recent takeover, there seems to be a growing interest from American businesses even if not everyone is convinced that their designs on English football are a great fit.
Then we come to ‘The Field’. For anyone unaware, this group is made up of inherited Red Bull owner, Mark Mateschitz, who not only owns the Formula One team but also RB Leipzig, Salzburg and several other sports teams. He is estimated to be worth more than $15 billion.
Beyond Mateschitz, the trio is completed by two of the richest men in the world, i.e. Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Yep, those guys.
This list is by no means exhaustive and, as always in football, who knows what’s going to happen next? Any one of these suitors could emerge as the leading candidate but there’s always a dark horse waiting in the wings.
Moreover, it isn’t just a case of ‘anyone would be better than the Glazers’ — nothing but trouble follows that way — so whoever the club decide to hand over the reins to, you can only hope they go through the proper vetting process.
Is there anyone else you think has an outside chance?
Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt slams Wigan Athletic player for post-match celebrations
Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has criticised Wigan Athletic following their 1-0 loss away at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night, with a player from the home team’s celebrations sparking a bit of a coming together on the pitch.
Understandably rumbling not only the away support but the players on the pitch, it wasn’t long before individuals began confronting each other, including both Evatt and Latics boss Shaun Maloney, with multiple club staff and match officials needed to separate people and calm things down.
Addressing the furious finish to the game, Evatt said, “We just won’t accept one of their players celebrating in front of our fans” and was also quick to remind the home side that there is quite a gulf between the two sides in the table.
"You certainly shouldn't be celebrating when you're mid-table"
Ian Evatt criticised some of celebrations, after Wigan Athletic beat his Bolton side 1-0 at the DW Stadium.
“It’s not acceptable — go and celebrate with your own fans, no problem with that, don’t celebrate in front of ours”, Evatt continued, adding: “You certainly shouldn’t be celebrating when you’re mid-table, that’s what I think”.
Bolton sit joint second in League One on 66 points with an extra game in hand on Derby County above them; meanwhile, the Tics are currently in 13th place having played one more game than their fierce rivals, though they have taken all six points from their two meetings this season.
The 42-year-old head coach went on to admit that he was frustrated with the result and felt “apologetic to the fans” as he felt they and the squad deserved more from the game, insisting that Wigan “probably know they’ve got away with one” and the celebrations merely proved the Trotters were “a big scalp”.
Elsewhere, opposite number Maloney said the result should serve as wind in the sails for his players, telling BBC Radio Manchester: “Tonight was just a real deep desire to not concede, a really strong mentality. It’s definitely a question I’ve put to us as a team and as a group.
“I know we’re really young, we’ve got a lot of academy boys there that have not played a full season before, but I want that mentality and tonight they showed it”, he added — citing Godo in particular as one of the top performers on the night.
Nevertheless, as Evatt hastened to add both in defiance and to quell and simmering derby day hangover amongst Bolton fans, there are still “12 big games” left in the season and it’s his team that is fighting for promotion back to the Championship after more than half a decade out of the second tier.
You can watch the highlights from the fiery clash between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanders here:
Five-star Haaland: Man City’s striker reminds everyone he’s an utter goal machine
Erling Haaland is well and truly back to business as usual after his five-goal contribution in Manchester City’s 6-2 thrashing over Luton Town.
Fittingly bagging five goals in the fifth round of the FA Cup as the holders cruised into the quarter-finals, Haaland barely wasted any time getting back on the scoresheet as he opened the scoring inside three minutes of the away fixture.
It only took him another quarter of an hour to get his second and while it looked for a brief moment like Luton might have some glimmer of hope after an absolute corker from Jordan Clark, who managed to grab two on the night, the goalscoring phenom managed a first-half hattrick on the 40-minute mark.
Clark’s second came in the 52nd minute to bring the scoreline to 3-2, once again making it look like they might have something to cling on to, only for the Norwegian number nine to resume the annihilation by grabbing his next just a few minutes later and his fifth only moments after that.
While the 23-year-old had looked somewhat off his best over the last few weeks, he did manage to find the net once again in Man City‘s last home game against Brentford and despite striking out against Bournemouth, it looks like the floodgates are once again open.
Fans can argue till the cows come home about the level of opposition and quality of defending on the night, but the reality is that many a team have struggled in the cauldron that is Kenilworth Road and anything can happen in knockout tournaments like this — after all, that’s the ‘magic of the cup’.
Oh yeah, and he broke another record in the process before being taken off — the same thing happened the last time he scored five too. Preventing injuries/preserving players’ energy aside, Guardiola seemingly doesn’t fancy letting him score six for some, even though we all know he would.
Erling Haaland is the first player to score 5+ goals in a single Champions League game and 5+ goals in a single FA Cup game.
He literally could’ve had six but Pep clearly thought five was plenty and subbed him off in the 77th minute, but it goes without saying that the legend in the making regaining his form right before the Manchester derby this weekend only spells disaster for Man United.
The Red Devils looked lacklustre in their previous game at home in the 2-1 defeat to Fulham and they haven’t won at the Etihad Stadium in their last three visits, while the Blues are now unbeaten in their last 18. Sunday is going to be a blockbuster.
You can watch the highlights from Manchester City’s emphatic FA Cup victory over Luton and yet another star showing from Erling Haaland down below: