Only at Manchester United could the announcement of perhaps the club’s greatest player ever leaving with immediate effect be gazumped just a few hours later by the installation of “for sale” signs at Old Trafford.
Tuesday night was quite impressive, even by United’s standards. Cristiano Ronaldo left the team by mutual consent, the club announced at 5.30 p.m., following his television interview with Piers Morgan.
After 17 years in power, the Glazer family may be prepared to sell up, according to a later statement from United released at 9.30 p.m.
Experienced United watchers are accustomed to major stories breaking at any moment, but this was different.
What will the Glazers leave behind if they follow Ronaldo out of the Old Trafford exit, which now appears to be more likely?
There is little doubt that the vast majority of United’s supporters would be happy to put them behind them.
With their leveraged £790 million takeover of United in 2005, the American owners got off to a bad start in the eyes of the fans and didn’t really do much better.
Even when it is mentioned that they have outspent most of their competitors with well over £1 billion paid out for players over the last 17 years, defending them is a rather thankless task in these parts.
No, the Glazers are poisonous, and nothing at United would ever change that. There is no turning back due to the takeover, debt, dividends, stadium condition, and lack of success.