London, Sept 8 (CNN) — Manchester United shares plunged more than 18% Tuesday, slashing over $700 million off the soccer club’s market value, following a UK newspaper report that the club’s US owners will take it off the market after receiving disappointing offers.
The drop in the stock — the largest daily decline since United’s IPO in New York in August 2012 — came after the Daily Mail reported over the weekend that the Glazers were set to put a brake on the process to sell the iconic club, citing a source close to the family. On Monday, US stock exchanges were closed for the Labor Day holiday.
Based on the stock’s closing price on Tuesday, the club is now worth $3.15 billion.
Manchester United announced last November that its owners were exploring selling the club, attracting bids from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani among others.
But the Glazers didn’t manage to draw the “multiple serious bidders” they had hoped for, the Daily Mail reported, adding that they will try to sell the club again in 2025.
CNN has contacted Manchester United for comment.
The Glazer family, who took control of the club in 2005, said in November that it was open to “all strategic alternatives” — including a new investor or a sale.
According to multiple reports earlier this year, the Glazers were seeking between $7.2 billion and $9.6 billion from potential buyers. The Daily Mail reported a more ambitious range, saying the current owners were holding out for bids of between £7 billion ($8.8 billion) and £10 billion ($12.5 billion).
The Glazers are deeply unpopular with many of United’s 1.1 billion self-proclaimed fans worldwide after their leveraged buyout of the club saddled it with huge debt. United also hasn’t won a trophy since 2017 and it is currently languishing in 11th spot in the English Premier League.
In June, Manchester United reported revenue of £481 million ($604 million) for the nine months to March 31, 2023, and an operating loss of nearly £11 million ($14 million). For the full fiscal year, it forecast record revenue of between £630 million and £640 million ($803 million).
The team’s supporters will be disappointed that a sale can’t be agreed upon, said Mark Middling, an assistant professor at Newcastle Business School, “as there has been severe criticism of the Glazer ownership for a number of years and they would have been hoping for a more successful future under new owners.”
Manchester United is one of the world’s few publicly traded major sports franchises. The shares of two of its rivals are publicly traded on European exchanges: Germany’s Borussia Dortmund is listed in Frankfurt, and Italy’s Juventus trades in Milan.