Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe make final bid for Man United… as the Qatari bid more than £5bn – a world record – with a pledge to clear ALL debt and ‘significant additional capital’
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani submitted a final bid of more than £5bn for Manchester United on Friday night – promising significant additional funding for transfers and infrastructure.
The bid, which landed in New York shortly before the 10pm deadline, included a record sum to buy the Premier League giants.
But in a significant and unsolicited power play, it also pledged additional sums of additional capital and an amount to be spent on either the redevelopment of Old Trafford or the construction of a new stadium, along with the transformation of United’s training facility.
However, the Qatari’s offer fell well short of the £6bn that the club’s owners, the Glazer family, were seeking.
Sheikh Jassim wants 100 per cent of the club and his deal would buy out the Glazers and all other shareholders. The offer has improved on his previous offer, but he will not come close to £6bn and is determined not to overpay, according to those familiar with the process.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has made a £5 billion bid for Manchester United tonight
It is not known whether the Glazer family – who are thought to want £6bn – will accept the offer
The Qatari offer, if accepted by the Glazers, would set a world record for a sports franchise
Sheikh Jassim’s main rival for United is Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The British billionaire is aiming for a controlling stake of more than 50 percent, but his bid includes an option that would allow two brothers of the Glazer family owners, Joel and Avram, to keep their 20 percent stake. The move is seen as a controversial move that would enrage large swaths of United’s fan base if successful.
A major bidding war with numerous parties does not appear to have materialized after the Glazers put the club up for sale in November.
There are investment offers in return for a partial stake from multiple groups, including US financial giants Carlyle and Elliott.
Earlier this week, Raine Group — the New York merchant bank leading the process — sought more information from the candidates.
Bidders were asked to clarify the source of their wealth and explain who the ultimate owner would be. Future financial plans were also asked.
The bid faces competition from British billionaire and lifelong Manchester United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe (pictured), who has proposed a move to keep the Glazer owners at the club
Several Manchester United supporters have protested against the Glazers in recent seasons
The moves are seen as pre-emptive ahead of any Premier League tests. However, given the ownership of Newcastle United and Manchester City, Sheikh Jassim’s bid is unlikely to pose any problems due to fears of state ownership.
Fans are planning a protest against the Glazers ahead of Sunday’s game with Aston Villa at Old Trafford, where they will call on the unpopular Americans to oversee a full sale of United rather than any other option.
Earlier this month, a sale of the NFL’s Washington Commanders was agreed for $6 million, or £4.77 billion.