Reds to make opening move in “global franchise strategy”

April 1, 2017 Tags: Reads 6 comments
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Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, will make the first move towards creating a global Manchester United sports empire this summer, with the acquisition of at least one, and perhaps three, overseas clubs. Reports in Florida overnight suggest that the Glazer family is deep in negotiations with clubs in Japan, Brazil and the United States about multi-million dollar acquisitions of up to three clubs.

In keeping with Manchester City’s franchise strategy, the Glazers are looking to acquire clubs that will both take on the United ‘brand’ and provide a potential proving ground for players and coaches. City’s owners, the Abu Dhabi Royal Family, also owns or part-owns Melbourne City, New York City and Yokohama F. Marinos via the City Football Group Holding Company.

It is believed that negotiations with Japanese J1 League side Vissel Kobe, MLS outfit New England Revolution and Brazilian giants Internacional are at a highly advanced stage, with fixers Charlie Stillitano and Jorge Mendes deeply involved in closing the deals. An announcement is likely to take place before the season closes, according to the Tampa Bay Times – the Glazer family’s local paper – one that will have implications across world football.

Tampa Bay Times' story overnight

The Tampa Bay Times’ breaking story late on Friday night

The Times’ story notes that acquired teams will be required to take on United’s colours and Adidas sponsorship, with alterations to club logos and team names in keeping with the global Manchester United brand. Newly rebranded Vissel Kobe United, New England United and Internationalted will take place in next season’s Japanese, US and Brazilian competitions.

“The Glazers are absolutely serious about this,” US-based football analyst Olaf Priol notes in the Times’ story. “Through their ownership of multiple sports franchises, and other franchise businesses in retail across the US, they feel that United is a gold-mine to be further tapped. If the acquisitions come off this summer, the United brand will take on a global dimension.”

New Team Logos

Leaked revisions to the logos of Internacional, Vissel Kobe and New England Revolution

The Glazer family issued a denial late on Friday, UK-time, although Tampa-based reporter Rick Stroud stood by his story in an updated revision. “This is no joke,” he added.


Leroy Villet - April 1, 2017 Reply

Just checked the date…

TKM - April 1, 2017 Reply

Haha, one of the best Man United related 1st April joke ever… Well played!!!

goalskii - April 1, 2017 Reply

i sure hope this is an attempt at an april fools joke.

Opti - April 1, 2017 Reply

Does the Global Franchise Plan involve scoring goals at Old Trafford?

Mike Wilce - April 1, 2017 Reply

Am Not a liker of those blokes..

bobbynoble - April 2, 2017 Reply

The performance against West Brom was the biggest April Fool’s joke. I’ve seen sharper cutting edges on a butter knife.

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