The Glazers are preparing to explore a sale of Manchester United, report Sky News and The Athletic.

This is huge news, even bigger than Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club, and almost fits in the ‘too good to be true’ category.

But make no mistake, the Glazers need to sell Manchester United is very real. They have nowhere else left to turn but to consider a sale, and the club subsequently released an official statement confirming the news.

The Ronaldo deal was effectively a last throw of the dice to try and ‘fix’ the club’s problems on the cheap, with a sticking plaster solution. It has failed.

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Why the Glazers need to sell Manchester United

Former Manchester United star Gary Neville has been an increasingly outspoke critic of the Glazers over the past couple of years, and he spoke out last month to say he expects them to consider a sale.

Quoted by The Mail, Neville explained the Glazers’ weak position, due to their lack of funds to provide the support Manchester United require.

He said: “‘I can’t see how this is sustainable, how they can’t bring in investment, or a partner or sell. I just can’t see it. They haven’t got the money to be able to do what Manchester United need.

“United cannot continue to have a stadium like they have, when the rest of the stadiums in Europe and in the Premier League are improving on the scale that they are. It would just be absolute negligence to not get that stadium up to the level it needs.

“That is half a billion on a refurb, a billion plus on a new stadium. Then you’ve got the training ground investment.

“You see what Chelsea are spending, what Arsenal have spent this year, what City have got. United need to spend big money every single year and what they spent in this summer was well above the budget that they wanted to spend – they said that on the investor call last week.

“And it leaves them perilously low on cash, with a loan that they have to continue to keep paying. The debt market isn’t strong, the investment market is weak… so they are going to have to do something and they will be working on something.”

The report from Sky News says the Glazers are looking to explore all options, from minority investment to full sale.

This is the first time in 17 years of ownership they have sought to loosen their grip on United, and a sign of acceptance they cannot provide the finances required to refurbish the the training ground and stadium, let alone invest to sign players from their own money.

United fans won’t be getting carried away, but this news has not come out of nowhere. Neville accurately forecast it with his comments last month, and it seems the Glazers agree with him, that it is time to either seek help from elsewhere, or hand the club over altogether to more capable hands.

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