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Man Utd CEO sends prospective buyers clear message about club’s fans

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Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold has insisted that any new investors into the club must engage with the support base if they are to have successVideo LoadingVideo UnavailableEmirates FA Cup: Manchester United v Everton in picturesManchester United chief executive Richard Arnold has stressed any new investor into the club will be urged to work closely with supporters. The Glazer family, who bought United for £790million back in 2005, put the Old Trafford club on the market last month. Mirror Football understands the family is looking for as much as £8billion to sell – a fee that eclipses the £2.5bn Todd Boehly paid for Chelsea. Arnold has outlined his hope that new investment would represent a “positive” step forward for the club. Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is a United fan, has been linked with an offer and has previously received calls from the club’s fanbase and ex-United director Michael Knighton to get involved in a takeover, but he poured cold water on the suggestion earlier this year. Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been linked with buying Manchester United over the past year ( Image: Icon Sport via Getty Images) Last month, it emerged that the Glazer family did not take dividend payments from United for the first time in six years, partly due to the club’s huge transfer spend this summer. United invested £225.4million in signings in the last transfer window, including the arrivals of midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid, Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Anthony and Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord. Major investment was required after a glut of summer exits from the squad. United CEO Arnold told a United fans’ forum on 13 December: “We will be advising any prospective new investors on the value of the fan engagement processes we have built in recent years, and recommending that they continue to be strengthened.” Avram and Joel Glazer have put Manchester United up for sale Have Your Say! How important is it for United to move away from the Glazer ownership? Tell us what you think here. “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,” Arnold added to the forum. “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. Richard Arnold has spoken of the new for new investors to engage with supporters “When and in what form that investment comes remains uncertain, but I feel confident in saying it will be a positive process for the club because we all understand the capital needs that we have, in terms of redeveloping the stadium and training ground while continuing to build a winning team.” Arnold outlined the importance for new investors to work closely alongside United fans, saying: “What’s clear is that fans will be integral to the success of Manchester United under any ownership model, and we see this body as an important part of the club’s governance structure irrespective of what happens with the strategic review.”

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