Why are Man Utd, Liverpool both up for sale now?

Manchester United mutually terminated Cristiano Ronaldo contract last week after controversial interview
Nov 29, 2022
<p>Photo: AFP</p>

Photo: AFP

Manchester United fans have celebrated the news that the Glazer family are open to selling the club after an acrimonious relationship with supporters during their 17 years in charge.

But United are not the only iconic English club on the market with Liverpool’s owners, the Fenway Sports Group, also seeking to sell a share or all of their stake in the six-time European champions.

AFP Sport looks at the reasons why both the two most successful clubs in English football history are up for sale:

Super League stalemate

The Glazers and FSG were behind the botched attempt at a breakaway European Super League in 2021 that rapidly collapsed amid a furious backlash from fans, governing bodies and politicians.

A cabal of 12 leading European clubs sought to create a closed league format common in US sport without promotion or relegation or the need to qualify every year as they do currently for the Champions League.

The idea was to maximise revenue from more guaranteed games against top level opposition, while also controlling costs in an attempt to make clubs far more profitable.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are going through the courts in an attempt to get the Super League off the ground.

But with opposition to the project still fierce in England, it would be hugely unpopular move for any Premier League owner to pursue.

Newcastle threat

Without a Super League, Champions League revenue is even more vital to United and Liverpool.

However, their place at the top table of European football is set to come under increasing threat by the rise of Newcastle under the ownership of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.

As the Premier League takes a mid-season break for the World Cup, neither United nor Liverpool are in the top four.

Just over 12 months into a new era, Newcastle are up in third.

Both clubs have already been stung by state wealth as Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City have superseded their traditional rivals to become the dominant force in English football over the past decade.

For the fourth time in 10 years, United failed to qualify for the Champions League this season.

Liverpool are in the competition for a sixth consecutive season thanks to coach Jurgen Klopp’s transformation of the Reds’ fortunes.

But prior to that run, Liverpool reached the Champions League just once in seven years.

Chelsea sale price

Despite a fire sale caused by sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich for his links to the Kremlin, Chelsea fetched a record price for a football club of £2.5 billion ($3 billion) in May thanks to a bidding war.



Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United

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