(Bloomberg) -- Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jim O’Neill, who once bid for Manchester United FC, has questioned the potential valuation of one of the world’s biggest football clubs.
“It seems completely out of reach,” said O’Neill in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “I wouldn’t want to lend my name to people who are just trying to indulge in the merry-go-round it appears to have become.”
The Glazer family -- owners of Manchester Untied -- are exploring strategic options that could lead to a full sale of the club. Bloomberg News reported in August that the Glazers would consider selling a stake in Manchester United, and that a deal could value the club at about £5 billion ($6 billion).
However, the price of one of the best-known football clubs could prove a sticking point, he said. “Whatever it is, it’s too much,” said O’Neill.
O’Neill, 65, is a long-time fan of the club and was part of the Red Knights consortium that tried to buy the team in 2010. “I cant imagine anyone I was close to 12 years ago will want to go chasing after this,” he said.
A consortium including O’Neill could prove a popular alternative to a foreign buyer. In 2010, O’Neill called on the American family to sell down their majority stake and recommended Manchester United start a new supervisory board on which supporters have a controlling vote.
“If you don’t engage the fans and don’t treat them as partners, you’re going to have a pretty miserable time,” he said.
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