Wednesday , September 27 2023

Sheikh Jassim’s camp brand claims Man Utd takeover bid has been successful as ‘pure speculation’

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Sensational reports from Qatar on Monday claimed that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani had beaten Sir Jim Ratcliffe and won the race to buy Manchester United, but that isn’t the suggestion from insiders

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s camp have branded claims that they’ve been successful in the race to buy Manchester United as ‘pure speculation’.

The Qatari entourage, who’ve been battling Sir Jim Ratcliffe and others for the best part of eight months, insist that they remain in a ‘holding pattern’ as current owners the Glazer family decide on a preferred bidder, a choice which is expected to be made this week. Sheikh Jassim’s response follows sensational reports from Qatar on Monday which claimed that he’d been beaten INEOS chief executive Ratcliffe and got the go-ahead from the Glazers.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is alleged to have won the race for Manchester United

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is alleged to have won the race for Manchester United

Chairman of Qatar Islamic bank and said to be a huge United fan, Sheikh Jassim was even congratulated by a Qatari businessman following Monday’s claims from Al-Watan, who now site international media as the basis of their report. Less than 12 hours after the news broke, however, the Press Association reported that Sheikh Jassim’s camp are still waiting on a response from the Glazers.

Working alongside US merchant bank Raine, who’ve been overseeing the sale process since United were put on the market in November, the American family are mulling over various lucrative offers before selecting a preferred bidder. It’s understood that the Glazers would demand £6billion to sanction a full sale.

Sheikh Jassim has laid out his intention for a debt-free 100 per cent takeover, while Ratcliffe has other plans. The Manchester-born petrochemical mogul hopes to secure an initial majority stake of 60 per cent, as he’d allow brothers Joel and Avram Glazer to remain at Old Trafford until 2026 through minority shares totalling 20 per cent.

Joel and Avram are reportedly the most reluctant of six siblings over ceding control at United unless their eye-watering asking price is met. That isn’t stopping Sheikh Jassim, though, who recently lodged a fifth and final offer to buy the club, putting pressure on the Glazers to make a decision.

The Qataris are keen to finalise their takeover as soon as possible and kickstart United’s summer transfer window with a slew of spending to bring in glamorous new signings. Manager Erik ten Hag has attempted to keep his focus on footballing operations, but now that the season has ended, he’s keen to work with whoever’s in charge at Old Trafford and continue his team’s progression.

A return to the Champions League has boosted his budget but Ten Hag recently admitted that he’s in the dark over how much he’ll be able to spend this summer. “I don’t know,” the Dutch boss admitted in early May.

“The only thing I know is that Man United is one of the biggest clubs in the world. But you need funds to construct squads because the level from your players decides if you are successful or not. High-level players cost a lot of money. It’s clear what I want, but it’s not up to me. It’s about others in this club. I’m focusing on improving the squad and the team development.”

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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