Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim withdraws from process to buy Manchester United

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has withdrawn from the process to buy Manchester United, according to BBC Sport.

Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s has withdrawn from the process to buy Manchester United after reports emerged over the weekend he was unwilling to meet the valuation of club owners Glazers, according to BBC Sport.

Sources have told BBC Sport, that an improved offer close to £5bn to buy Manchester United was submitted by Sheikh Jassim last week, but now talks have broken down.

British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group, now looks to be the main bidder with his camp reportedly offering to buy a minority stake in the club. thought to be 25%, in an effort to break the impasse over the ownership situation.

When the Glazer family announced last year their intention to sell United, it generated significant interest. However, only two offers materialized—from Ineos and Sheikh Jassim—both making bids of approximately £5 billion.

In a statement, the Manchester United Supporters Trust said: 

“MUFC is in desperate need of new investment and new majority ownership. We hope this news accelerates that process rather than delays it.

“Based on the last 11 months, no-one can be quite sure. The Glazers need to make their position clear.”

It is understood Sheikh Jassim’s bid would be made in full cash and would have cleared all old debt in the club’s register with a little more than £1.4bn to finance new stadium plans, new training centre facilities, buy players and also for community regeneration projects.

However, there has been no public comment from any party around why this bid has collapsed.

Moreover, if Sheikh Jassim has withdrawn from the process and there is no turning back, it  therefore suggest the Glazer family will remain at the helm of affairs in the short term.

WithSir Jim Ratcliffe already stated he is willing to accept a minority stake as a first step towards getting a majority, which is what he wants.

It is also feasible that another party will step in and make an acceptable offer to the Glazers in the not-too-distant future.

But, for the time being, the Glazers stay – and it is sure to enrage a significant percentage of the United fanbase, including former skipper Gary Neville, who believes the ownership is a major reason for the club’s current predicament.

When questioned this week if the Glazer family was aware of the majority opinion of them among United fans, chief executive Richard Arnold told their Fans Forum the club was “transparent in its feedback to the owners”.

Despite the objections, they appear to have thick skin and are glad to stay.

And it’s clear that Sheikh Jassim believes what the Glazers demand is out of reach for anyone looking to buy the club outright.

The two biggest unknowns right now are if another Qatari proposal for a Premier League team becomes a reality, and what makes the Glazers believe United is worth more than what has been offered.

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