In a surprising turn of events last November, the Glazer family, who have been at the helm of Manchester United for a whopping 18 years, announced their intent to sell the esteemed football club. Their late father, Malcolm Glazer, had initially acquired the club back in 2005 for a sum of £790m. His sons, Joel and Avram Glazer, now aim to procure a sizable return on that initial investment.
Two key contenders, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim, have emerged as leading bidders. Sir Jim, supported by INEOS, has tabled an offer in the ballpark of £5.5bn, and in a show of goodwill, even suggested retaining the Glazers in a minority stakeholder capacity. On the other hand, Sheikh Jassim, backed by Qatari resources, has proposed a similarly valued bid and sweetened the pot by offering to eliminate the club’s staggering £500m debt.
However, no agreement has been reached. Rumors have surfaced that the Glazer family is now aiming for a whopping £10bn valuation, which caught the ire of Gary Neville, leading him to openly criticize the Glazers’ handling of the club.
Ben Jacobs, an authority on football takeovers, weighed in on the matter, suggesting that if a resolution isn’t found by the end of November, the Glazers would still be calling the shots for Manchester United come the January transfer window. Should a takeover be greenlit, the transition would take anywhere between four to six weeks to finalize all requisite formalities.
Both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim have shown unwavering commitment to their bids, but patience seems to be wearing thin. The delay in proceedings is evidently causing frustration. While neither party seems inclined to enhance their bids further, they’ve expressed the sentiment that the ball is in the Glazers’ court, waiting for them to finally make a decision.
However, now Ratcliffe’s new proposal seems to be more about acquiring a stake rather than a full takeover. Ben Jacobs, as cited by TeamTalk, pointed out that this could be a dealbreaker for Sheikh Jassim and his team, who will WITHDRAW their offer if a full buy-out is not on the table anymore.