According to reports, US technology giant Apple has joined the race to buy Manchester United.
United confirmed the sensational news that the world’s biggest football club is actually for sale in a statement earlier this week.
With United now available, a report from the Daily star has claimed that the world’s largest technology company may be interested in acquiring the club for £5.8 billion.
The California-based tech company has never had a major sports team before, but the commercial opportunities offered by United would be a primary factor in their interests.
Any potential deal would almost certainly make it the most expensive takeover of a football club in history, surpassing the £4.25 billion a consortium led by Todd Boehly paid for Chelsea earlier this year.
A big deal for anyone buying United is Old Trafford, the club’s iconic stadium. The venue has long been in need of a revamp to compete with the world’s biggest clubs, and it is clear that development of the stadium will cost around £1.5 billion.
United went into the ground in 1910 – dubbed ‘The Theater of Dreams’ by fans around the world – and have called it home ever since. The stadium was last renovated between 2005 and 2006, adding 8,000 seats.
Red Devils legend Gary Neville backed the call for the stadium to undergo a much-needed upgrade when stories of investment in the arena first surfaced in February.
He posted on Instagram: “There is a story going up at Old Trafford that they could rebuild the whole stadium and I have just been asked what I think. I actually think it would be the right move.
“I think by the time they’ve spent money on Old Trafford, the existing, I think you’re better off building a brand new, better, super stadium. I do think Manchester United should always be ahead in stadiums, have the best facilities and they have fallen behind.
According to reports, Apple CEO Tim Cook is the latest high-profile suitor interested in buying Manchester United
CEO Cook is just the latest in a string of high-profile individuals who have expressed interest in taking charge at Old Trafford.
Elon Musk, CEO of Now-Twitter, jokingly wrote on the platform this summer that he would buy the club, with the 51-year-old’s post gaining more than 800,000 likes.
UFC superstar Conor McGregor has also thrown his hat in the ring, having previously expressed interest in taking over the club.
The 34-year-old took to Twitter after the European Super League announcement in April last year, writing: ‘Hey guys, thinking of buying Manchester United! What do you think?’
The Irishman added that he would like to take over a sports team ‘one day’.
“To be honest, there was a conversation about Celtic first. To acquire shares of Dermot Desmond. I am definitely interested in taking over a sports team one day! Both Celtic and Man United are teams I definitely love. But I’m open. I feel I can do great things for a club.’
Elon Musk (left) and Conor McGregor (right) have previously expressed interest in buying the club
Joel and Avram Glazer have been largely unpopular with fans since taking charge of the club in 2005.
The backlash over United’s takeover by the US investment bankers was so great that some supporters formed the breakaway club FC United of Manchester in protest.
Dissatisfaction with United’s functioning also led to the green and gold movement with fans wearing scarves featuring the club’s original colours, and resulted in a series of protests held both inside and outside Old Trafford.
A club statement on Tuesday outlined the Glazers’ intentions to sell: “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 of Directors”) ‘) starts a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
The Glazers confirmed this week that they are ready to sell United after 17 years at the club
The process is designed to promote the club’s future growth, with the ultimate aim 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 in the club, a sale or other transactions involving the company.
This includes an assessment of various initiatives to strengthen the club, including the redevelopment of the stadium and infrastructure, and the expansion of the club’s commercial activities on a global scale, each in the context of increasing the long-term success of the gentlemen. club’s women’s and men’s competitions. academy teams, and benefit fans and other stakeholders.”