Hamilton has already made his feelings clear on the Man Utd takeover bid
Manchester United have been put up for sale by the Glazer family, and F1 legend Lewis Hamilton has already made headlines by refusing to rule out joining a future takeover bid for the Old Trafford club.
The maligned Americans have finally signaled their intention to sell United after 17 years dominated by vociferous protests and declining standards that transferred from the board level to the pitch. And now the Glazers are said to be demanding a world record fee for a sports club.
Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a lifelong United fan, has been touted as a potential buyer after previously expressing interest in a takeover bid. Ineos founder Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, has a 33% stake in Hamilton’s Mercedes team and shares a close business relationship with the seven-time F1 champion.
And Hamilton, who joined a failed rival consortium bid for Ratcliffe to buy Chelsea this summer, previously said he would not be against joining Ratcliffe in pursuing a United takeover.
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In September, when fan anger was particularly common against the Glazers, Hamilton was notably reluctant to deny claims that he could participate in the future if a bid was arranged.
He said: “It’s my first time hearing it so I haven’t had time to catch up with Jim since he was in Namibia, which I need to do because he goes to Namibia quite often. Jim is part boss but part partner: I would say we’re more of a partner because we’re in this together, and I hope in the future to do something with Jim and build with him. I don’t know where it will be or what it will be, so I can’t really say.
“I haven’t gotten a call from him yet asking if I want to be involved in that. But I want to get more and more involved in teams because I really believe in black ownership, there’s a lack of that in sports. And black equity, again, there’s a real lack thereof.”
Hamilton is already part owner of the Denver Broncos after joining the NFL franchise in the Walton-Penner family acquisition in August. And the sale of United is likely to dwarf the £4bn fee for which the Broncos franchise was bought.
It’s unclear if Ratcliffe, who also owns Ligue 1 club Nice, will put together a mammoth bid to take over from the Glazers. Ratcliffe’s only explanation for not launching a takeover bid recently was the Glazers’ stance that United is not for sale, but circumstances have clearly changed.
“Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family. I have met Joel and Avram. They are the nicest people I have to say, proper gentlemen. They don’t want to sell it,” Ratcliffe said at a Financial Times Live event earlier this year.
“It is owned by the six children of the father. If it had been for sale in the summer, yes, we probably would have had a chance after Chelsea. But we can’t just sit around and hope that one day Manchester United will be available.”
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