Larry Tanenbaum wants to enter the Manchester United lottery.
According to a report from the Financial Times, the MLSE chairman has joined a growing list of very wealthy people who want to own a piece of the English Premier League giant, the latest European football club on the market for a new owner.
The 77-year-old businessman, who is also serving his second term as chairman of the NBA board of directors, would team up with fellow basketball investor Stephen Pagliuca to submit a bid, according to the report. Pagliuca is a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, among others.
The two businessmen were also among the investors who tried to take over Chelsea FC earlier this year. They were subsequently outbid by Todd Boehly and investment firm Clearlake Captital, who bought the West London team for $2.5 billion.
Manchester United FC has been one of the top teams in English and European competitions for many years. It has been owned and operated by the Glazers family since 2005 – Malcolm Glazer also owned the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The ownership of the Old Trafford club by the Glazers has come under fire for the club’s poor performance and questionable management decisions. Despite owning a record 13 EPL titles, Manchester United are in the middle of a five-year drought, having last won the Europa League in 2017.
The Glazers bought the team for a reported $942 million, but many financial analysts say the team can now sell for just over $8 billion.
The Financial Times reported that former Manchester United superstar David Beckham is open to joining potential bidders for club ownership. Beckham is already part owner of Inter-Miami FC in the MLS and is currently ambassador for the World Cup in Qatar.
If Tanenbaum is indeed interested in buying Manchester United, he will have stiff competition. Tech giant Apple, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and private equity duo Josh Harris and David Blitzer have all been named as serious contenders.
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