A Qatari sheikh confirms his offer to buy Manchester United

Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, crown prince of the Gulf state, has communicated his intentions to the Glazer family, which owns the club, hours before the bidding deadline expired.

At the last minute of the first phase of the auction, a new offer emerged with a potential millionaire to take over Manchester United. Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani, crown prince of the Gulf state and president of the QIB bank, has offered the Glazier family, which owns the club, “a substantial amount” that will be disclosed publicly if the operation is successful. Until now the only offer was that of the British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and the INEOS group, also made official tonight. Jassim bin Hamad vows to buy the sports club “debt-free” and invest all proceeds and profits through his Nine Two Foundation“In the teams, the training center, the stadium and the expansion of its infrastructure, as well as in the communities and fans that support the club,” according to the press release made public by the Sheikh’s team.

Although United fans viewed Ratcliffe’s bet with good eyes, after the questioning made in recent years about the origin of the money that feeds the Premier League, the idea of ​​another white knight emerging to flood the club with money and allow Making good signings has been well received, according to the express survey carried out by The Athletic.

There will still be a second phase, in which the experts predict at least a couple more offers from the United States, and even some from Saudi Arabia, so that the final competition for the historic club could confront five applicants.

“The offer is intended to return the club to its past glory both on and off the pitch and, above all, to place the fans at the heart of all things Manchester United once again,” the Qatari sheikh said. , who has confessed to being an unconditional fan of the team throughout his life. In addition to being president of the Qatari bank, he sits on the board of directors of Credit Suisse. His willingness to buy the team without the apparent intention of making money with it confirms once again the prestige and glamor that many millionaires —individuals or countries— suppose to acquire a Premier League club, rather than a skyscraper in Manhattan or a technology company in California.

United’s shares have doubled in value in recent weeks, to as low as $26. With that price, United’s market value is estimated at just over 4,000 million euros. The Glazier family took over the entity 17 years ago for some 890 million euros at the current exchange rate, but almost 700 of those million were loans that they later had to repay from the exploitation and assets of the club, which still carries a debt of about 560 million.

The sheikh’s offer includes investing money in both the men’s and women’s teams, and also seeks to renovate and expand the Old Trafford stadium, along with the area around it. All proceeds will be reinvested through the foundation, the sheikh has promised. “The vision embodied in this offer is for Manchester United to become renowned for the excellence of its football and to be considered the greatest team in the world,” promises Jassim bin Hamad.

Ownership by a Qatari billionaire of United would not conflict with ownership by the state of Paris Saint Germain. The French club is owned by Qatar Sports Investment, part of the country’s sovereign wealth fund. In the case of the possible purchase of United, they have assured various British media in the sheikh’s environment, it would be the private investment of a billionaire who is also a football fan and a staunch supporter of a historic English team. The possibility of a Qatari investment being made with a British team has once again set off alarm bells among human rights organizations and LGTBIQ groups, who have already made their voices heard after the decision that the last World Cup will be held in that country.

United is experiencing a sweet moment in the current season of the English competition. With 46 points, they occupy third place in the table, behind Manchester City and Arsenal, tied for 51 points.