Joyous scenes of celebrations from Deansgate to Old Trafford were envisaged when the Glazers announced Manchester United was up for sale on the 22nd of November 2022.

The Glazers announced on that date they were 'exploring strategic opportunities' for the club, which could include selling it and that gave supporters something they had craved; a glimpse of hope their ownership could end.

Some dreamt of a quick transaction and speculated new owners could be in place by summer, then it emerged that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani were in the race for the club.

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Sheikh Jassim's proposal was for 100 per cent of United and Ratcliffe's wanted a majority stake. There were divisions in the fanbase over which billionaire would be best, but the majority of match-goers did not want Qatar.

A takeover from Sheikh Jassim would have created uncomfortable questions and some fans would have walked away because same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar and their treatment of migrant workers has been hideous.

Amnesty International, the world's leading human rights organisation, criticised a potential Qatari-led takeover of United and they claimed it would be a 'sportswashing project' and a wake-up call to the Premier League.

There have been exactly 12 months since the initial announcement that revealed the club was on the market and those uncomfortable conversations aren't going to be needed, to the relief of many supporters.

Ratcliffe has prevailed in the race for the keys to Old Trafford, albeit for a minority stake at the club, and his breakthrough is imminent, which is a word that's been used far too often by pretenders throughout the process.

It's been a gruelling year to reach a breakthrough in the process and in truth, there have been minimal significant updates, but that hasn't stopped chancers on social media pretending to have inside knowledge.

Ratcliffe has won the race.

In the era of misinformation, social media has become a dangerous place and some fans who were desperate to hear positive news fell into the trap of believing takeover 'updates' from accounts that have absolutely no merit.

The Glazers made the situation worse by, rather unsurprisingly, not opening lines of communication throughout the process. They have always treated fans with contempt and they've stayed true to themselves.

One of the most galling aspects of the Glazers' suffocating ownership is a refusal to communicate and true to form, they have spoken just a few words in public despite the uncertainty hanging over United and fans.

Avram Glazer was tracked down by Sky News in Florida a day after the initial announcement but he remained tight-lipped, saying: "As we announced yesterday, the board went through a process and it's decided it's going to look at different strategic alternatives."

When asked why the club hadn't been sold earlier, he reiterated the American family was now considering its options.

He added: "Well, once again, we've gone through a process, we're going to look at all different strategic alternatives and we'll see where that leads us, so I appreciate you talking to me tonight and I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving."

Avram Glazer wasn't very talkative after that. He made three appearances at Wembley to watch United in the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and the women's side and he blanked journalists' questions on each of those occasions.

The Glazers don't communicate.

There have been various attempts to get comments on the takeover process but there have been no meaningful responses in 2023, which left supporters in the dark and wondering which direction the club was heading in.

The news of Qatar's withdrawal and Ratcliffe's advancement was a welcome and necessary update. The process had dragged on beyond what was expected and it suggested there was finally some light at the end of the tunnel.

INESO founder Ratcliffe is a pair of safe hands, someone passionate and someone who cares. He's already making smart footballing decisions and addressing the club's awful recruitment has the potential to be transformational.

"You can’t really contemplate acquiring a brand like Manchester United and failing because the failure is just far too public and excruciating, failing in a deal like that," said Ratcliffe in an interview in September.

Ratcliffe coming on board should signal the beginning of the end of the Glazers, who became majority shareholders themselves by first acquiring a minority stake and eventually eating up John Magnier and J. P. McManus' shares.

Magnier and McManus wanted to sell and the Glazers are reluctant to part ways with their cash cow, which is the difference, but Ratcliffe investing with the intention of becoming the majority owner is a first step.

The 12-month process has been tedious but supporters are hoping their patience will be rewarded.

The Glazers can't stay forever and Ratcliffe's investment means the Americans are now in the end game.