Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with immediate effect AS Manchester United’s owners the Glazer family say they are considering selling the club as they “explore strategic alternatives”.
Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United with immediate effect.
The decision follows a controversial interview in which the 37-year-old criticised the club and said he had “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag.
“The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford,” said a Manchester United statement.
They wished “him and his family well for the future” and added “everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch”.
United are fifth in the Premier League in Ten Hag’s first season as manager, with the season taking a break for the World Cup in Qatar.
Ronaldo is with Portugal at the tournament and is set to captain them in their opening Group H game against Ghana on Thursday.
He talked to the media in Qatar on Monday, saying that he will “speak when he wants” and his row with United will not “shake” the Portugal squad.
Ronaldo, who scored 145 goals in 346 appearances for United, left Juventus to rejoin the Old Trafford club in August 2021 – 11 years after he left to join Real Madrid.
Glazer family owners consider selling Premier League club
The Americans bought the Old Trafford outfit for £790m ($1.34bn) in 2005.
It comes after years of protest from fans against their ownership.
A statement from the club said the board will “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company”.
It added that the process “will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale” to enhance “the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders”.
In 2012, the Glazers sold 10% of their holding via a stock listing and have sold further shares in the following years.
“As we seek to continue building on the club’s history of success, the board has authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives,” said executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer.
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future.
“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
The Glazer family have owned NFL side Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1995 and Avram Glazer bought a team in the new United Arab Emirates Twenty20 cricket league in 2021.
Joel and Avram took over the day-to-day running of United after their father Malcolm suffered a stroke in April 2006. Billionaire Malcolm died aged 85 in 2014.
American investment firm Raine Group, who handled Chelsea’s £4.25bn sale in May, is acting as United’s exclusive financial advisor.
The statement from the club added: “There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the company.
“Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.”
United, who are fifth in the Premier League, have not won the title since 2013 and have not won a trophy since claiming the Europa League and EFL Cup in 2017.
There have been multiple protests against the Glazers’ ownership in recent years, including one in May 2021 which caused United’s home league match against Liverpool to be postponed.
Thousands of supporters marched to Old Trafford in protest before the same fixture this season, in August.
United were part of the failed European Super League project which rapidly collapsed in April 2021. Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer later apologised for the unrest caused.
He has since attended Fans’ Forums in the wake of the supporter unrest and pledged to make shares available to fans.
According to Transfermarkt, United have a net spend of 1.36bn euros (£1.18bn) under the Glazers.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Manchester United with immediate effect on Tuesday, criticised the club ownership in a controversial interview last week saying the Glazer family, “don’t care about the club” on the sporting side.
The move to sell United comes amid Liverpool chairman Tom Werner saying Fenway Sports Group were “exploring a sale” of the Anfield club.
A Bloomberg report in August 2022 said that the Glazer family were willing to sell a minority stake in the club.