Manchester United fans are divided over Saudi Arabia‘s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s apparent interest in a takeover bid for the club.
The Saudi royal family, worth an estimated £850billion, are understood to be keen on buying United from the Glazer family, who took over in 2005, to rival Abu Dhabi’s ownership of Manchester City.
The move would be hugely controversial amid international outrage over Saudi Arabia’s role in the apparent murder of a dissident journalist.
However, investors warmed to the news of a potential takeover, with Manchester United PLC’s share price rising by more than five per cent on Monday.
Speculation was fuelled after it emerged that United co-owner Avram Glazer is due to fly to Riyadh for an investment conference next week, although a number of prominent business leaders have already pulled out over Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
And United supporters have had their say on social media, with opinions certainly divided.
Some are for the takeover, believed to be worth between £3bn and £4bn, advocating that ousting the Glazer family would be a positive step and could possibly provide a means for the club to clear its debt.
‘We might actually get owners who want us to be the best in the world and not just a cash cow,’ one Twitter user said.
‘Why [are] people complaining?,’ another added. ‘It would only be good for the club. If they wanna [sic] pay £3-4bn for the club they will pay £6-700m to clear the debts!
‘Glazers just want to skim off the top. They don’t care about the club!’
Some, however, have taken umbrage with the appalling human rights record of Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
‘From a team investment standpoint it would be good,’ one user began on Reddit. ‘From any moral, respectable, club, or literally any other standpoint this would be an absolute disaster.’
‘We’d be sellouts like all the teams we so often criticise for it. We’d be worst than Chelsea and on par with City and PSG,’ the user added.