The head of Qatar’s biggest banks, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, said his foundation would try to buy Manchester United.
The company Ineos, which Sir Jim Ratcliffe owns, also made an official bid before the “soft deadline” of Friday at 22:00 GMT, BBC Sport says.
Ratcliffe, a billionaire, had already said he wanted to buy Manchester United.
The Glazer family bought United in 2005 and are now “exploring strategic alternatives,” which means they are thinking about selling.
The Qatari group led by Sheikh Jassim said, “The bid plans to bring the club back to its former glory.”
Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation will pay off the bid’s debts. In addition, the foundation will invest in the football teams, the training center, the stadium and other infrastructure, the fan experience, and the community the club helps. “The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be known for being the best football club in the world,” the bid says.
Ineos hasn’t said anything yet, but it’s thought that the proposal will emphasize that Ratcliffe, born in Manchester, would be “a British guardian for the club” and try to “put the Manchester back into Manchester United.”
The British billionaire Ratcliffe, who is 70 years old, owns the Ineos group. He has always put money into sports and owns French Ligue 1 club Nice and Swiss club Lausanne.
It also has a high-profile sailing team called Ineos Britannia, led by Sir Ben Ainslie and wants to win America’s Cup for Great Britain in 2024.
Ineos also has a five-year deal with the Formula 1 team Mercedes, and in 2019, it took over the cycling team Team Sky, based in Britain.
Sheikh Jassim is the chairman of the Qatari bank QIB and the son of a Qatari former prime minister. He has been a fan of Manchester United his whole life.
His group needed to give information about how much they planned to pay for the club.
The US will likely make at least two offers for United, and Saudi Arabia has shown interest.
This means that up to five parties could be trying to negotiate a full sale, and others could be looking to make a smaller investment in exchange for a smaller share of the 20-time English league champions.
Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris St. Germain, is likely to be a key figure in any Qatari bid to buy the club, even though he might not have any direct role in the club.
Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), which Al-Khelaifi runs, was thinking about buying a smaller share of a Premier League club.
But because Uefa rules don’t let one person own more than one club, Qatar would have to go through private individuals or a different organization to buy all of United.
Human rights and LGBTQ+ groups are worried about the possibility of Qatar investing in a Premier League club and owning two major European teams.
Analysis of the proposed Manchester United sale
When people in the Gulf state talk about Qatar’s possible purchase of Manchester United and a possible conflict of interest with the fact that they already own Paris Saint-Germain, they look confused.
They think that about half of the clubs in the Premier League have more than one type of ownership.
One example is Manchester City is part of the City Football Group. Daniel Kretinsky is a part-owner of West Ham and also the president of Sparta Prague. Both teams were in the Europa League last season.
They also know that Ratcliffe wants to buy United and that there is no sign that he will give up control of French club Nice, four points away from a spot in Europe.
Also, Uefa has already given RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg permission to play in the same European competitions.
Since Nasser al-Khelaifi is the chairman of both PSG and the European Clubs’ Association, which has been working more closely with Uefa, it is safe to assume that any problems have been worked out.
Sources insist, though, that this bid has nothing to do with who owns PSG. It is also made clear that the bid is just a suggestion. Sources say that the data available in United’s “data room” has been disappointing.
All the information about the Old Trafford club’s finances must be publicized.
People think this is just the beginning of the process, but Sheikh Jassim is serious about taking the club away from the Glazer family for the first time since 2005. He also has plans to invest in the wider Trafford area.
Read Also: Possible buyers for Manchester United
He is a big fan of Manchester United and has been to games. He had the chance to bid for Chelsea, which sold for £4.25 billion last year, but he didn’t. However, he thinks this is a chance he can’t pass up.