Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023

MANCHESTER, England — A Qatar-based bid for Manchester United was confirmed Friday, with Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani promising to rid the enduring soccer membership of debt and return it to its former glories.

Sheikh Jassim, chairman of Qatar Islamic Financial institution, has submitted a 100% supply to purchase out present house owners, the Glazer household. He’s the son of a former prime minister.

“The bid shall be fully debt free by way of Sheikh Jassim’s 9 Two Basis, which can look to spend money on the soccer groups, the coaching middle, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan expertise and the communities the membership helps,” an announcement stated.

“The imaginative and prescient of the bid is for Manchester United Soccer Membership to be famend for footballing excellence, and considered the best soccer membership on the earth.”

It didn’t point out what the bid can be.

Whereas plans to spend money on the Premier League crew and redevelop Previous Trafford shall be effectively obtained by followers, there may be prone to even be opposition after Qatar was closely criticized for its remedy of migrant staff and human rights document forward of internet hosting final 12 months’s World Cup.

Previous to the Qatari announcement and with rumors of a possible rival bid from Saudi Arabia nonetheless circulating, Manchester United’s LGBTQ supporters’ group the Rainbow Devils raised “deep concern” relating to curiosity from international locations the place same-sex relationships are criminalized.

“Rainbow Devils consider any bidder looking for to purchase Manchester United should commit to creating soccer a sport for everybody, together with LGBTQ+ supporters, gamers and workers,” the group stated on Twitter. “We due to this fact have deep concern over among the bids which might be being made. We’re watching the present course of carefully with this in thoughts.”


Friday was the ultimate day for severe contenders to step ahead within the race to purchase United, with the deadline expiring at 2200 GMT.

After months of hypothesis and hovering share costs, preliminary gives needed to be offered to service provider financial institution Raine Group, which is dealing with the sale of one of the well-known soccer groups on the earth.

By the top of the day, the Glazers may need an thought of how a lot they’ll count on to make on the membership they purchased for about $1.4 billion in 2005.

The worth is now estimated to achieve as excessive as $6 billion, with reported curiosity from Saudi Arabia seeing its worth rise sharply because the deadline for bids approached.

Whereas Friday was described as a smooth deadline, Raine and the Glazers could have a clearer image of potential consumers earlier than shifting on to the following stage of the method. The announcement from Sheikh Jassim comes after rising hypothesis about curiosity from the fuel and oil wealthy Qatar.

It may very well be troublesome to show Sheikh Jassim’s funding automobile is fully separate from state-backed pursuits that fund Qatar Sports activities Investments at PSG.

The sale of Manchester United is about to check European guidelines designed to guard soccer from the integrity dangers of homeowners controlling a number of golf equipment.


Beforehand solely British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, the proprietor of petrochemicals big INEOS, had publicly confirmed his intention to bid for the membership he has supported from childhood. BBC Sport stated it understood that Ineos had made a bid inside Friday’s deadline. There was no official affirmation from Ineos.

Together with Qatar and the reported curiosity from Saudi Arabia, rumors persist that Elon Musk may very well be amongst a listing of potential consumers from the USA.

Ratcliffe introduced his intention to bid final month. That may be a shift in technique from final 12 months when he launched a last-minute bid for Chelsea, however was not thought-about as a result of he missed the deadline set by Raine, which additionally dealt with that sale.

Ratcliffe, who at the moment owns French membership Good, final 12 months stated he had little interest in one other bid for a Premier League membership after lacking out on Chelsea and receiving little encouragement from the Glazers for United. However he can be a well-liked selection amongst followers due to his longstanding assist of the membership.

A number of People bid final 12 months to purchase Chelsea, with Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital ultimately paying $3 billion for the London membership. Rival bids got here from Chicago Cubs proprietor the Ricketts household, Boston Celtics part-owner Steve Pagliuca and New York Jets proprietor Woody Johnson.

No American bids for United have been made public, except you think about a Twitter put up from Musk.

The CEO of Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX wrote “I’m shopping for Manchester United ur welcome” final August. And though he then identified it was a “long-running joke on Twitter,” rumors of a bid haven’t gone away.

Third-place Manchester United hosts Leicester within the Premier League on Sunday with its supervisor insisting the developments won’t function a distraction to him or his gamers.

“I give attention to soccer,” Erik ten Hag stated.


James Robson is at


Extra AP soccer: and

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