Amancio Ortega may become the new owner of Manchester United football club after the Glazers announced that the club is for sale.
The Spanish billionaire founded Inditex, a multinational clothing company whose subsidiaries include fashion retailer Zara.
His work in real estate has also contributed to his enormous wealth: real estate in Barcelona, Madrid, London, Chicago, Miami and New York is in his portfolio.
Forbes estimates net worth at $62.6 billion and puts Ortega on the 18th place among the richest people in the world according to their list of billionaires in real time.
According to Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, Ortega has already informed the club’s management of his intention to apply for the acquisition of Manchester United.
The Red Devils will be the Spaniard’s first foray into the sporting world.
Ortega certainly has enough wealth to take the club away from the Glazers, who have reportedly set an asking price in excess of the £5 billion mark.
With United’s infrastructure in need of immediate investment, fans welcome a wealth like Ortega.
If the fashion mogul is committed enough to the project, he will indeed have the financial clout to help the club catch up with its Premier League rivals in terms of improving the stadium and training facilities – areas that have been causing concern lately.
Under the leadership of the Glazer family, almost nothing was spent on improving the club.
This has become a common source of criticism, as Cristiano Ronaldo recently lamented the lack of development since he left for Real Madrid back in 2009.
Since then, his contract with the club has been terminated, but given that the club has not been able to actively strive for excellence in terms of upgrading facilities, the Portuguese national team star may have been right.
A potential reason for fans to worry about Amancio Ortega’s interest in the club could be succession planning.
At the age of 86, it is likely that Ortega would like to transfer control over many aspects of the club’s activities to someone else.
His daughter, Maria Ortega Perez, could be such a candidate. She is currently the chairman of the Zara fashion chain, appointed last year.