New Manchester United deal proves Ed Woodward’s point and shows why Glazers are standing firm – Richard Fay

Since the news broke last November, a number of deadlines have come and gone, and supporters quickly saw through the false hope of a deal being completed quickly. The &aposstrategic review&apos has lacked any clear strategy.

United fans will now only believe a takeover is close to completion when they see it for themselves, and of course, as was outlined from the very beginning, there is no guarantee one will happen.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani both remain in the race to buy the club, with differently constructed offers on the table, but both are roughly valued at the same level, in the region of 5billion. Not a bad profit from a leveraged buyout using borrowed money.

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The Glazer family has already been warned that they would face an entirely new level of backlash if they did indeed decide against selling the club at this moment in time, though that might not be so offputting for such distant owners.

Ultimately, it comes down to money. There is little rush or pressure from their side to sell, so the Glazers can hold out until someone meets their exact demands. Those demands could eventually increase.

Even after a difficult few months, United remain a global behemoth, perhaps only truly rivalled by Real Madrid in terms of global reach for a football club.

Ed Woodward received savage backlash when he infamously stated, &aposplaying performance doesnt really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial size of the business&apos. It was an ill-advised comment, but it was correct.

At a time when City have just won the Treble, it is United who have announced the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in world football with a 60-million-a-year agreement with Qualcomm. This comes just six weeks after the announcement of a new 10-year kit deal with Adidas worth 900million.

The record deal comes after a third-place finish in the Premier League, a summer in which they struggled in the transfer market and faced several off-field issues. Despite all of this, United are still a club that so many companies want to be associated with.

This not only highlights the huge commercial value of United as a brand, but it also has to bring into question whether the Glazers will really sell when it remains so profitable for them.

In the years ahead, United stand to make even more money from the Champions League restructure, and due to the new rules favouring historically successful clubs, there will be an even lower threshold for them to qualify.

Throw into the equation the rise of the Saudi Pro League and how teams from the Middle East might look to offer huge sums for lucrative friendlies or even push for an intercontinental tournament pitting them against the world elite, and it is quite easy to see why the Glazers might even end up asking for more money.

Of course, that potentially increased value is all hypothetical at this stage, and the current bidders will no doubt point out that the last revenue figures were still behind the numbers prior to the Covid pandemic.

United&aposs record deal with Adidas and Qualcomm will help boost revenue in certain areas, but overall, total sponsorship turnover has been down in recent years, and prospective buyers could argue there is no guarantee it will ever return to the previous highs.