Manchester United: Sheikh Jassim confirms Qatar bid for Premier League club

Generals at Old Trafford
Manchester United have been owned by the Glazer family since 2005

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, chairman of one of Qatar’s largest banks, has confirmed his foundation will make a bid for Manchester United.

The move comes ahead of a “soft deadline” for submitting proposals at 22:00 GMT on Friday.

It is the second open bid after businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe expressed an interest last month.

The Qatar consortium said: “The bid is planned to restore the club to its former glory.

The Glazers, who bought Manchester United in 2005, are considering selling the Old Trafford club as they “explore strategic options”.

The Qatari consortium added: “The bid will be entirely debt-free through Sheikh Jassim’s Ninety Two Foundation, which will invest in the football team, training centre, stadium and wider infrastructure, fan experience and community supported by the club.

“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be known for football excellence and to be regarded as the greatest football club in the world.”

Known as a lifelong Manchester United fan, Sheikh Jassim is the chairman of Qatari bank QIB and the son of the former prime minister of Qatar.

The consortium’s statement did not provide any details on the amount for which the club was proposed to be purchased.

The U.S. is also expected to receive at least two offers, while Saudi Arabia has also expressed interest.

That means up to five parties could try to negotiate a full sale, while others want smaller investments in exchange for a partial stake in the 20-time English league champions.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Khelaifi will be a key figure in any bid for Qatar ownership, even though he may not be directly involved with the club.

Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), led by Al-Khelaifi, has been exploring the possibility of acquiring a small stake in a Premier League club.

However, due to UEFA’s rules prohibiting multiple club ownership, any full Qatari takeover of United would have to be done through private or different organisations.

The prospect of Qatar investing in Premier League clubs – and the two major European teams owned by the Gulf state – attracted attention In human rights and the LGBTQ+ community.


Simon Stone on BBC Sport

Discussions about dual ownership of football clubs, and the potential conflict of interest between Qatar’s possible takeover of Manchester United and their current ownership of Paris Saint-Germain, are playing out in an odd way in the Gulf state.

They estimate that half of the clubs in the Premier League are involved in dual ownership of one type or another.

Manchester City’s presence in the City Football Group is an example. West Ham part-owner Daniel Kretinski is also chairman of Sparta Prague, who, like West Ham, played in last season’s Europa League.

They also note that British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe has expressed interest in bidding for United and there is no sign he will relinquish control of French club Nice, which are four points behind in European qualifying.

Furthermore, RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg have been sanctioned by UEFA for the same European competition.

Given that PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi is also president of the European Club Association, which is working increasingly closely with UEFA, it is fair to assume that any potential problem areas have been addressed.

However, sources insist the bid is entirely independent of PSG’s ownership.

It is also emphasized that bids are indicative. According to sources, the data provided by United’s “data room” was disappointing.

Full details on the club’s finances at Old Trafford must now be given.

This is considered to be the beginning rather than the end of the process, however, with plans to invest in the wider Trafford area also in place, Sheikh Jassim is very serious about taking the club out of the Glazers’ control for the first time Since 2005.

How to follow Manchester United on BBC BannerManchester United Banner Footer

Source link