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Qatari sheikh could be the new owner of Manchester United

Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani is going head-to-head with Ineos billionaire Jim Ratcliffe

Qatari sheikh could be the new owner of Manchester United
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

This is a deal that’s going to shatter records for a sale of a sports business. The cost of purchasing Manchester United is expected to reach over $6 billion, breaking the record fee for a football club set by Chelsea last year, which was $5.2 billion. 

Of the multiple offers United has already received, a bid by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, is the latest. He is going head-to-head with Ineos billionaire Jim Ratcliffe. The initial deadline for bids expired last Friday.

He has confirmed he has submitted a bid to take over United. According to media reports, the Qatari bid is the best offer on the table, not just in terms of price but also in investing in the men’s and women’s football teams. Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation is looking to invest in training centers, the stadium, wider infrastructure, the fan experience, and the redevelopment of the area around Old Trafford.

However, the long-time United fan, Sheikh Jassim, did not disclose the amount proposed in the bid for United. 

This announcement follows a bid from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos company, the other contender in the race to acquire the club. Ratcliffe has bid for 69% of United.

Previously, Reuters reported that the club’s current majority owners, the Glazer family, seek a valuation as high as $8.42 billion.

According to media reports, the Glazer family’s announcement in November that they were open to a sale of or investment in the club prompted bids from Saudi Arabia and formal inquiries from private groups in Riyadh.

Twitter and Tesla owner Elon Musk has also expressed interest in buying the football club.

The multiple bids signal a new chapter for United, which has the record 20-time English champions and has more than 650 million fans worldwide.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur is expected to receive a bid worth $3.75 billion from Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi, Reuters has reported.

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