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Manchester United can only be bought by a handful of suitors

Would Andy Mitten be okay with a state-backed owner of Manchester United?



United We Stand editor Andy Mitten joined The Football Show to discuss Manchester United with Nathan Murphy.

Now that the World Cup is over, the sale of Manchester United is one of the biggest stories in sports.

The news broke at the start of the World Cup. Or just before it. And fans were delighted at the prospect of the Glazers leaving the club. But now that we're passed the initial euphoria, the question becomes who will be the next owners of Manchester United?

Whenever big sports teams come available in Europe, state-backed investment funds are at the fore of the process to buy them.

Manchester United won't be any different. Andy Mitten understands that.

"How do you go up against Saudi Arabia?" Mitten asked.

"It's really difficult. It's getting to the level where even if you're the most wealthy British person [you can't compete]. For example, Jim Ratcliffe who put an offer in for Chelsea, he's got deep, deep pockets but compared to sovereign state funds? They don't look so deep."

Financial Fair Play is supposed to stop this imbalance before it begins, but we've seen clubs find ways around it over and over again. PSG and Manchester City are still able to outspend everyone around them when they want to.

But while those clubs have recently established themselves as European giants, Manchester United are an institution of football.

That will push the price tag of the club to an astronomical place.

"Manchester United are still an extremely attractive name for somebody to buy into. It is a trophy asset. It's a huge football club, it's the biggest football club in England. I think it's one of the three biggest football clubs in the world along with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"And with that size is going to come a hefty price tag."

That hefty price tag means only a few people can compete to buy Manchester United. Mitten explains that he would be concerned about a state-backed investment fund buying his football club, but that the fan base as a whole would likely be divided.

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