According to recent reports from Bloomberg, Qatari banking mogul Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani believes he is leading the race to buy Manchester United from the current owners, the Glazer family. However, it’s unclear whether the Glazers intend to sell the club at all.
Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the primary contenders in the bid to acquire the majority shares in Manchester United, but there hasn’t been much progress in the takeover negotiations lately.
The Glazer family and the Raine Group, who are orchestrating the sale, have not yet revealed their preferred offer. The Glazers have set a price tag of approximately £6 billion for United, but the highest bids so far have been around the £5 billion mark.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, head of the INEOS conglomerate, has tabled a proposal that would allow Joel and Avram Glazer to keep a 20% share in United. There are also US investment companies such as Elliott Management that are proposing minor investments to help the Glazers maintain their majority stake, but with additional financial resources.
Bloomberg’s latest financial report indicates that the Glazers will “imminently” make a decision on whether to sell the club or retain control. The report infers that if Sheikh Jassim doesn’t receive a response promptly, it might be a strong indication that the current owners are not interested in selling.
— centredevils. (@centredevils) July 18, 2023
If the Glazers decide against selling, it’s likely to be met with significant backlash from United’s supporters. Most of the fanbase is eager to see the American family sell the club, given the substantial debts accumulated at Old Trafford since their leveraged buyout in 2005, and a decade-long drought without a Premier League title.
Sheikh Jassim boasts personal wealth of approximately £900m, with his family’s cumulative wealth estimated around £275bn. As of May 2023, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s net worth is approximately £29.6bn. He presides as the chairman and CEO of the INEOS chemicals group.