It really won’t come as a shock to fans of Manchester United that their current owners, the Glazer family, appear to be eeking out every last second available before making a final decision on whether to sell the club or not.
It’s been some while now since the ‘third and final’ round of bidding took place, and the expectation was that a preferred bidder would be quickly chosen and a period of exclusivity granted.
Following on from that would be the final details being agreed upon before the sale of the club would take place.
However, as senior journalist, Ben Jacobs, notes in his exclusive CaughtOffside Substack, we’re a long way away from that happening.
‘I am also told Avram Glazer being seen at Claridges, owned by Sheikh Jassim’s father Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (known as HBJ) is a red herring and not a clue,’ he wrote.
‘The bottom line is both groups are still in the process and that perhaps suggests neither have met the Glazers desired valuation, or both suitors are necessary to drive up competitive tension.
‘The advantage to the seller of no exclusive period to date is even with a preferred bidder (whether named or not) there is always another rival to play them off against.
‘And let’s not forget strategic or minority investors are still waiting in the wings.’
Indeed, there may even be a situation where the process doesn’t follow the standard rules and regulations if things go ’to the wire’ as it were.
‘So don’t be surprised if we kind of skip a step,’ Jacobs added.
‘Raine have smartly ensured the due diligence has been done early in the process, and have been asking numerous questions to ensure all information is gathered, including with a view to the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
‘That means if the Glazers do give a green light to any group things can potentially move faster.
‘We are seemingly behind on selecting a preferred bidder but ahead in many ways on other time-consuming aspects of the process.’
The situation would be laughable if it weren’t so serious, and for those that pay their hard-earned to attend Old Trafford or travel away to watch their heroes it’s no laughing matter at all.
The last thing the Glazer family or any of the potential bidders need at this stage are more fan protests, but the timing of this long running saga…