Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken for the first time since announcing the club could be up for sale.
Sky News tracked him down near his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and he spoke about finding “strategic options” for the club and also responded to criticism from Cristiano Ronaldo.
He did not respond to questions about why he is now considering selling, saying only that “the board went through a process” and decided now was the time to explore their options.
The club confirmed on Wednesday one Exclusive to Sky News that it was start a review designed to increase the club’s success – which included looking at a potential sale.
Many Manchester United fans have long campaigned against the club’s American owners, accusing them of a lack of investment and excessive debt at the club.
The club’s facilities, manager Erik ten Hag and the attitude of the Glazers were also criticized by Cristiano Ronaldo in a recent interview with Piers Morgan.
The Glazers were reportedly furious with the comments and Ronaldo this week left United immediately by mutual consent.
But Avram Glazer refused to be drawn on the striker’s claim – echoed by many fans – that his family “don’t care about the club”.
He told Sky News: “Well, I’ll tell you about Cristiano Ronaldo – he’s a great Manchester United player, I appreciate everything he’s done for the club and I wish him well in the future.”
Mr Glazer then asked a question about why the Portuguese player had to leave the club and went to a restaurant.
Exhausted Manchester United fans will be hoping better days could be around the corner after years of underperformance since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013.
However, it is not guaranteed that the Glazers will end their 17-year ownership.
A partial sale to new investors, with money raised for redevelopment of Old Trafford, is a potential outcome, says Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman.
If the Glazers pull out of the club altogether, potential buyers include British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a Manchester-born fan of the club.
How ‘scavenger’ Glazers left Old Trafford ‘rusting’ and in ‘mess’
he said this summer he would be interested if the club was up for salebut in October he revealed he had met the Glazers and they “don’t want to sell”.
Billionaires from around the world are also likely to be linked with bids, as are sovereign investors hoping to emulate the takeover at Newcastle United – now owned by Saudi state-backed investors.
Manchester United’s review comes a few weeks later Liverpool’s American owners said they were also open to offers and already had interest from groups that wanted to buy shares.