Manchester United Supporters' Trust chief executive Duncan Drasdo has called for a Chelsea-style takeover of the club.
On Tuesday evening, following Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, it was announced that the club was exploring 'strategic alternatives'. " Manchester United plc, one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club," the statement read.
"The process is designed to enhance the club's future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially. As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.
"This 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, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders."
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has previously declared his interest in buying the club, is one possible buyer, while Zara founder Amancio Ortega has also confirmed his interest.
Speaking to The Independent, Drasdo suggested that the sale should be handled in the same way that Chelsea was sold following the departure of Roman Abramovich. "Any United fan knows that we are in dying need of major capital investment into our football club," he explained.
"We need owners who are going to want to work with supporters in partnership, are going to value supporters being part of the ownership structure being part of a transparent relationship where everyone's goals are aligned, working towards success on the pitch and fans and the whole football club acting like a family. I think when you look at the way Chelsea was sold - and of course it was exceptional circumstances, it was due to connection with [Vladimir] Putin and that regime - but I think what the government did there was actually something they should be doing for all football clubs.
"Clubs shouldn't be bought and sold to the highest bidder regardless of what their intentions are. As I understand it, Chelsea didn't go to the highest bidder.
"It went to the bidder that met certain criteria, including sustainable investment in the football club. And so we think that should be extended to every football club regardless of those special circumstances."
American Todd Boehly bought Chelsea from Abramovich following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Since arriving at the club, Boehly has sacked Thomas Tuchel and appointed Graham Potter. He was criticised for attempting to sign Ronaldo in the summer.