Amancio Ortega is in the frame to become the new owner of Manchester United Football Club, following the Glazers’ announcement that the club is up for sale.
The Spanish billionaire founded Inditex, a multinational clothing company which counts fashion retailer Zara amongst its subsidiaries.
His work in the property sector has also contributed to his enormous wealth, with real estate in Barcelona, Madrid, London, Chicago, Miami, and New York all on his portfolio.
With an estimated net worth of $62.6bn, Forbes ranks Ortega as the 18th richest person in the world according to their real-time billionaires list.
According to Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, Ortega has already informed senior executives at the club of his intention to launch a bid for Manchester United.
The Red Devils would be the Spaniard’s first foray into the sporting world.
Ortega certainly has the wealth to prise the club from the Glazers, who have reportedly set an asking price in excess of the £5bn mark.
With United’s infrastructure in need of immediate investment, wealth such as Ortega’s would be welcomed by the fanbase.
Should the fashion mogul be sufficiently committed to the project, he does have the financial clout to help the club catch up to its Premier League rivals in terms of stadium improvements and training facilities – areas which have caused concern in recent times.
Under the stewardship of the Glazer family, barely anything has been spent on club improvements.
That has become a common source of criticism, with Cristiano Ronaldo only recently bemoaning the lack of development since he left for Real Madrid back in 2009.
He has since seen his contract with the club terminated, but in terms of the club failing to proactively aim for excellence in terms of facility upgrades, the Portugal star may well have had a point.
A potential cause for concern among fans regarding Amancio Ortega’s interest in the club could be succession planning.
At 86 years of age, it is likely that Ortega would want to hand control of many aspects of the club’s operations to someone else.
His daughter, Maria Ortega Perez, could be such a candidate. She is currently chairwoman of the Zara fashion chain having been appointed last year.