Soccer

Apple’s net worth as tech giants ‘interested’ in Man Utd takeover

Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd contract terminated

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Manchester United will become the richest club in the world if they are taken over by Apple, with the tech giants poised to hold talks with those overseeing the sale of the club. The Glazers could finally be on their way out after a controversial 17-year stewardship, which has sparked regular protests from fans. 

United are frequently among the biggest spenders in the transfer market but their stadium, training facilities and infrastructure lags behind many of Europe’s top clubs. At least according to outgoing star Cristiano Ronaldo, who claimed that the lack of progress in recent years ‘surprised’ him upon returning to the club in 2021. 

That’s not the only thing to irk fans as the Glazers have saddled the club with millions of pounds worth of debt, not to mention their prominent role in the ill-fated European Super League proposal. Their period of ownership could soon come to an end after it was announced that strategic options are being considered. 

According to The Daily Star, Apple are among those interested in taking United off the Glazers’ hands and their colossal net worth would make them the richest club in the world. 

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With annual revenues of £400billion, Apple are believed to be worth a whopping £2trillion, i.e. £2,000bn, dwarfing the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The tech company have no prior experience running a football team of United’s calibre but CEO Tim Cook is thought to be intrigued by the opportunities it could provide. 

Such significant funds could lead to a brand new stadium amid complaints that Old Trafford is now out of date compared, for example, to Tottenham’s state-of-the-art ground. It won’t lead to untapped spending in the transfer market, however, with teams still bound by Financial Fair Play restrictions. 

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The Glazers are expected to sell United to the highest bidder and Apple will reportedly schedule talks with banks overseeing the process, including Raine Group, who played a similar role in Todd Boehly and Clearlake’s takeover of Chelsea earlier this year. A shortlist of potential buyers should be drawn up in a few weeks’ time, with British billionaire and lifelong United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe also expected to be in the mix. 

A takeover would be the next instalment in a wave of ownership changes towards the top of the Premier League. Roman Abramovich was effectively forced out of Chelsea due to UK government sanctions and Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, are thought to be open to offers. 

United co-owner Avram Glazer was confronted outside a restaurant in Florida this week, where he had the opportunity to speak out on a potential takeover and Ronaldo’s bitter Old Trafford exit. “As we announced yesterday, the board went through a process and decided that it’s going to look at different strategic alternatives,” he told Sky News. “That’s what we’re doing. We’ll see where it leads us.”

On Ronaldo, he added: “I’ll tell you about Cristiano Ronaldo – he’s a great Man United player and I appreciate everything he’s done for the club. I wish him the best of luck for the future.”

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