November 22, 2022 at 5:34 PM ESTRonaldo: I still love Manchester UnitedCristiano Ronaldo has said he still “loves” Manchester United and the club’s supporters after his contract was terminated on Tuesday — but feels this is the “right time” for a “new challenge”.Manchester United announced that Ronaldo would be leaving the club with immediate effect in a statement on Tuesday.He said: “Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early.“I love Manchester United and I love the fans and that will never change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.“I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”Ronaldo is with Portugal in Qatar and is set to captain his country in their opening group H game against Ghana on Thursday.On Monday he said that he will “speak when he wants” and his row with Manchester United will not “shake” the Portugal squad.Luke Brown·Managing Editor, NewsNovember 22, 2022 at 4:31 PM ESTManchester United statementIn a statement, the club have said: “Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU), 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 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.“Executive Co-Chairmen and Directors, Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers. As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives. We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”The Raine Group is acting as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is legal counsel to the Company.Rothschild and Co. is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the Glazer family shareholders.There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the Company. Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the Board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.Luke Brown·Managing Editor, NewsNovember 22, 2022 at 4:23 PM ESTSuper League?Maybe it was never so super. Jacob WhiteheadSurely no coincidence that both Liverpool and United’s American owners both looking to sell after the collapse of the Super League project. https://t.co/7LMAOBB6Nr— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) November 22, 2022 November 22, 2022 at 3:59 PM ESTAre other clubs up for sale?Manchester United are not the only Premier League club exploring sale.Earlier this month, The Athletic revealed that Fenway Sports Group had put Liverpool up for sale, with a full sales presentation produced for interested parties.And, earlier in the season, United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea were sold to a consortium led by the American businessman Todd Boehly for £2.5 billion.But the sale of Manchester United, widely recognised as one of the world’s most famous football clubs, would likely become the most lucrative in the history of the sport.Jacob WhiteheadNovember 22, 2022 at 3:52 PM ESTBREAKING; Kane to have scan on right ankleHarry Kane will have a scan on his ankle ahead of England’s next World Cup game against the U.S.The 29-year-old England captain appeared to be in pain after Morteza Pouraliganji brought him down with a lunging tackle five minutes into the second half on Monday.Kane managed to stay on the pitch until the 75th minute when he was replaced by fellow striker Callum Wilson.After the game, Kane was walking with his right ankle lightly strapped, and with a slight limp.Gareth Southgate played down fears Kane could be set for a spell on the sidelines but the FA are assessing his injury ahead of England’s second group game on Friday.Jacob WhiteheadNovember 22, 2022 at 3:42 PM ESTManchester United – what a dayLet’s step back a moment. United have defined themselves through three lenses in the 21st century – Ferguson and his legacy, Ronaldo and his legacy, and opposition to the Glazers. Within three hours, two of those have gone.Jacob WhiteheadNovember 22, 2022 at 3:37 PM ESTWhat is the Glazers’ reputation?US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer first won control of Manchester United in a £790 million takeover bid in 2005.But their 17-year reign in charge of the Premier League club has been dominated by fan protests and declining performance.United have not won the Premier League title since 2013 and have struggled to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.The club’s Premier League match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in May last year was postponed because of an organised protest by United fans against the owners.And thousands of supporters marched to Old Trafford in protest before the same fixture this season, in August.Jacob WhiteheadNovember 22, 2022 at 3:34 PM ESTBREAKING: Glazer family instruct banks to handle sale of Manchester UnitedThe Glazer family have instructed banks to handle the sale of Manchester United.The American owners of the Premier League club are expected to make this decision public in a statement on Tuesday.When contacted by The Athletic on Tuesday, Manchester United did not comment. Typically in this situation a club would formally deny such a story were it not at least partially true.Jacob WhiteheadGO FURTHERGlazer family instruct banks to handle sale of Manchester UnitedNovember 22, 2022 at 3:30 PM ESTA choice driven by the need to be indie?Yes, but does he play with a turned-up collar and low socks?Jacob WhiteheadRonaldo rightly recognising that being at a World Cup as an unattached player is a very cool thing— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) November 22, 2022 November 22, 2022 at 3:12 PM ESTWill Ronaldo join Burnley?Look, even if he wanted to, big Vincent’s not having it. Jacob WhiteheadLineker: ‘Would you take Cristiano Ronaldo at Burnley?’Kompany: ‘We need players who can run’ 😂— Tom Burrows (@TBurrows16) November 22, 2022 November 22, 2022 at 2:58 PM EST’His SIU is not a goal celebration, but a theatrical signature’The Athletic’s Carl Anka takes the stage. “For much of his career, Ronaldo’s playing talent saw him indulged by team-mates, coaches and football clubs. He became a Manchester United player again last season not because of a great tactical or strategic plan, but because Sir Alex Ferguson advised it and Ed Woodward willed it.”But even if you are Ronaldo, willpower can only get you so far. At his peak, he was a player who made goalscoring look easy, but he always reminded you of how hard he worked, and why that made him so much greater than anyone who came before him.”Jacob WhiteheadGO FURTHERWhy Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit means Manchester United can plan for the futureNovember 22, 2022 at 2:42 PM ESTRonaldo’s return: the statsFor all the craziness, the discontent, the drama, you could argue that Ronaldo’s return has still been useful for United. 27 goals in 54 games is significantly better than any other player. But was he just too much of a distraction? Jacob WhiteheadNovember 22, 2022 at 2:31 PM ESTManchester United paying Ronaldo no moneyBinning off industrial size objects often requires payment, but binning off an industrial sized ego can be done for free. The Athletic understands that Ronaldo has left the club without a payoff. There are no restrictions on who he can play for next.Jacob WhiteheadGO FURTHERManchester United agree Cristiano Ronaldo exit with immediate effectNovember 22, 2022 at 2:10 PM ESTWhat the readers thinkSome more responses from our discussion page:Steven A: “Part of me would like to have seen him languish in the reserves until the end of his contract but this is probably best for all parties. Interested to hear on what terms he left, I hope United didn’t pay him off. I also hope he doesn’t secure a move to a Champions League team. I know this sounds bitter but I am bitter. I just don’t want him to be rewarded for his selfishness. As he says, he speaks when it’s good for Cristinao, let’s hope acting like a child doesn’t work in his favour.”Niraj D: “I for one am now looking forward to the return of the real Bruno Fernandes.”Chidi N: “I pity the Portuguese team. Since this World Cup has become his shopping display window, his greed will be unmatched. He will shoot from ridiculous angles and will not pass even when there are better options. I cannot wait to see the next unfortunate club to sign him.”G.T: “Get Al Dawsari in ‘till end of the season.”Get involved by clicking on the link below.Luke Brown·Managing Editor, NewsGO FURTHERCristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United – have they made the right decision?November 22, 2022 at 1:54 PM ESTIs this the best outcome for Manchester United and Ronaldo?Rio Ferdinand certainly thinks so.Ali Humayun🗣️ “I think both parties will be delighted.”Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo can now move on after it was announced the Portuguese had left the club.🎥 @BBCSport pic.twitter.com/cfFkMugdaC— The Athletic | Football (@TheAthleticFC) November 22, 2022 November 22, 2022 at 1:41 PM ESTHow did Ronaldo feel about his interview?Not bothered in the slightest, apparently.The Portugal captain was asked about it while on international duty at the World Cup this week and bluntly told reporters: “In my life, the best timing is always my timing.”“I don’t have to think about what other people think. I speak when I want. The players know me really well for many years and know the type of person I am.“It’s an ambitious group (Portugal) that is hungry and focused. So I’m sure it (the interview) won’t shake the changing room’s concentration and focus.”A penny for Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot’s thoughts after today’s news?Ali HumayunNovember 22, 2022 at 1:34 PM ESTManchester United fans’ thoughtsLast week, The Athletic asked our Manchester United subscribers for their thoughts on Ronaldo following his interview — and the results were a damning indictment on what he said.Over 80 per cent of those surveyed wanted the club to terminate his contract, which has been agreed to today.More than 90 per cent believed he was unable to justify “feeling betrayed” by United, a similar number think Ten Hag has not treated the forward unfairly, and 88 per cent did not want him to add to his 341 United appearances.It appears the majority of United fans have gotten their wish…Ali HumayunGO FURTHERManchester United survey: 88% don’t want to see Cristiano Ronaldo play for the club againNovember 22, 2022 at 1:31 PM ESTWhere will Ronaldo go?A viable suitor didn’t come forward in the summer and he remained at the club, but Ronaldo has only scored three goals in 16 appearances this season…Ali HumayunTime to see all those clubs Ronaldo said wanted him line up to sign him… 👀— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) November 22, 2022 November 22, 2022 at 1:16 PM ESTWhat did Ronaldo’s colleagues make of the interview?Senior players are known to think his early departure from the Spurs game was awful behaviour.There was a general feeling of surprise at the timing and content of the interview but the consensus in the squad was that Ronaldo was trying to force his exit.It did not cause the kind of ripples you might expect for such a major player — his team-mates already knew how he felt and his relevance to the United side had diminished. They feel spirit is being built under Ten Hag and wanted to move on from the episode to avoid jeopardising that mood. The attack on Rooney, in particular, was also considered needless.Some of his team-mates watched Ronaldo’s interview on phones while travelling back from the Fulham game.Despite social media scrutiny of a clip that appeared to show a frosty greeting between Fernandes and Ronaldo as they met up for World Cup duty last week, sources close to the former (who wish to remain anonymous to protect their positions) insisted to The Athletic that it was a joke about his flight from England arriving late and that the exchange had been taken out of context.Laurie Whitwell·Manchester United CorrespondentNovember 22, 2022 at 1:14 PM ESTThe whole saga neatly surmised…… by our writer Nick Miller.Luke Brown·Managing Editor, NewsRonaldo providing a valuable lesson for children everywhere: if you piss and whine for long enough, and loud enough, you’ll eventually get what you want.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) November 22, 2022
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