The Glazers are considering selling Manchester United

The English soccer club Manchester United is starting a process to explore strategic alternatives, including a new investment or a possible sale, 17 years after the American Glazer family bought them.

The Glazer family is working with financial advisers on the process, which could lead to a partial sale of the Old Trafford club or investments including redevelopment of the stadium and infrastructure, the club said in a statement.

Manchester United fans have been clamoring for a change of ownership and the Glazers have come under intense criticism as the team has gone five years without winning a trophy.

The last trophies they won were the Europa League and the League Cup in 2017.

“As we look to continue to build on the club’s success story, the board has authorized a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives,” said Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, co-chief executives and directors of United, in Tuesday’s statement.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the club today and in the future.”

There has also been turmoil at the club after Cristiano Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by the club and expressed dissatisfaction with how things were being handled.

On Tuesday, the club announced that the Portuguese captain was leaving Manchester United by common consent.

In August, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe had expressed interest in buying United, the Reuters news agency reported. At the time, Elon Musk had also joked about intending to buy the club.

Wealthy Asian tycoons, especially those from China, have been buying up European teams in recent years, including Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers and Italy’s Inter Milan.

The owners are under pressure with United sitting fifth in the Premier League at mid-season.

Manchester United shares rose as much as 20 percent after Sky News first reported the sale process, giving the club a market capitalization of $2.6 billion.

The company was worth $2.5 billion at the close of US trading on Tuesday. At its peak as a public company, it had a market capitalization of $4.3 billion in 2018.

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