In the latest developments surrounding Manchester United’s ownership saga, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani’s bid team is currently pushing for a revision to the club’s recent SEC Filing.
This document, which became public on Wednesday, has been a major topic in the sports world. It suggests that Sheikh Jassim’s failure to provide proof of adequate funds led to his unsuccessful bid for Manchester United.
Consequently, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, as the only remaining bidder, has acquired a 25% stake in the club. Ben Jacobs, a well-regarded sports journalist, has reported updates on the situation, indicating that Sheikh Jassim’s team is dissatisfied with the portrayal of the events in the media.
A member of Sheikh Jassim’s bidding team communicated to Jacobs, “The filing – which is made by MU Plc unilaterally without consulting or having to verify with other parties – refrains from disclosing the most basic and irrefutable facts, both about the financial guarantees given and the level of offers made, all of which are fully documented.
“Enquiries are being made with the SEC as to a corrective statement of fact. It is also curious to note the widespread media reporting of the inflated level of the other competing bid at the time, and how that stacks up to reality today.”
In essence, the team behind Sheikh Jassim is challenging the SEC Filing, claiming it neglects to mention essential facts and financial guarantees they provided.
The documents filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Sheikh Jassim did not comply with the club’s requests to substantiate the source of his funds.
This non-compliance led to several improved offers, but the necessary documentation was still missing.
Eventually, this situation led to Qatar’s withdrawal from the negotiations, giving the impression that their involvement may have been more about posturing than a genuine intent to acquire the club.
And a reminder once again of what SEC guidelines say: “Any information you do provide must be truthful to the best of your knowledge or belief. A person who is found to have knowingly and willfully submitted false, fictitious, and/or fraudulent statements to the SEC may be subject to criminal sanctions under federal law.”