Premier League club denies Davos sale speculation
Manchester United have denied speculation that a luxury lounge, which comes complete with a high-end shop front, set up ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is intended to attract the attention of billionaire investors.
The Premier League club revealed in November that it was seeking investment or even an outright sale, some 17 years after it was purchased by the US-based Glazer family.
Since then, it is understood that no formal offers have been received but it has been reported that there is interest in the club from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United States, as well as from the United Kingdom’s wealthiest man, Jim Ratcliffe.
And while formal bids are expected to be submitted in the coming weeks, a Manchester United spokesperson has denied that the temporary lounge in Davos is set to be a hub for talks to take place throughout the World Economic Forum, which began on Monday and runs until January 20.
Manchester United is seeking a buyer and has set up a storefront on the Promenade at Davos. Wonder if any billionaires will wander in and place a bid. Worth noting that the Saudis have some prime real estate nearby… pic.twitter.com/y4BcpUSdR1— Dave Lawler (@DavidLawler10) January 16, 2023
Speaking on behalf of the football club, Ellie Norman said that the lounge was “definitely not” opened to attract bidders but it will instead be used to hold meetings between club figures and existing partners.
The strategic review into the club, announced as part of plans to seek investment last year, remains ongoing, Norman said, adding that “we don’t know the outcome.”
The main high street in Davos has been temporarily turned into a financial hub by various large tech firms and banks (among others) throughout the week of the forum, which is intended to bring together high-level influencers from various industries to discuss potential partnerships.
Manchester United’s lounge, though, stoked significant speculation given that the club is effectively available on the open market.
Co-chairman Avram Glazer is expected to attend the forum this week, while there will also be events featuring former player Peter Schmeichel and chief executive Richard Arnold.
“Manchester United is proud to be the first sports team to partner with the World Economic Forum,” it said in a statement.
“Our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers provide us with powerful opportunities to engage across cultural and geographical boundaries. We are in Davos to explore ways to maximise the impact of the extraordinary reach.”