Manchester United is inching closer to a pivotal ownership shift since the Glazers indicated their willingness to sell last year. There’s increasing speculation that Sir Jim Ratcliffe might clinch a deal to purchase a significant 25% share in the club in the coming weeks, although the expected formalities won’t be settled in this week’s board meeting.
Despite this, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s ambitions to acquire the club might still be alive, as many involved in the process are unsure about his definitive exit.
Manchester United has been in the limelight due to the intense bidding war between Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim. Yet, the scenario seemed to favour Ratcliffe recently when the Qatari tycoon rescinded his bid. Anticipation was rife that the forthcoming board meeting this Thursday would see a nod for Ratcliffe’s proposal. But, finer points still need resolution.
The Telegraph highlights ongoing deliberations concerning the potential £1.35 billion stake from Ratcliffe. While the deal’s pace is brisk, insiders anticipate it might need another fortnight to finalise. One source emphasised, “no decision this week”, hinting that Sheikh Jassim’s shadow hasn’t entirely faded from the takeover narrative. Notably, though, confidantes close to the Qatari magnate confirm that the Glazers were informed about his decision to retract his proposal a week ago.
For Ratcliffe, time is of the essence. The owner of INEOS aspires to influence the club’s strategies during the upcoming January transfer window. Moreover, his vision includes a provision to eventually transition into complete ownership.
Amidst these boardroom dramas, Manchester United’s on-field performance has also come under scrutiny. With Erik ten Hag at the helm, the team’s Premier League journey has been tumultuous, marked by defeats against teams like Tottenham, Arsenal, Brighton, and Crystal Palace, which resulted in a slip to the 10th spot. Their European campaign mirrors a similar tale, with losses to Bayern Munich and a surprising one against Galatasaray at their home ground.
Post the international break, the Red Devils are gearing up for their next challenge against Sheffield United on Saturday.