Manchester united Take over by Qatar
Bids for ownership of Manchester United take over by Qatar, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group have been confirmed; US hedge fund Elliott Management also lodged a proposal for possible financing.
Xavi made the assertion ahead of his Barça team playing at Old Trafford on Thursday night, citing his own experience of living in Qatar and a personal relationship with the Sheikh, who is chairman of one of the Gulf state’s largest banks and son of a former prime minister.
Xavi, who played for Qatari side Al Sadd for four years after leaving Barcelona and then also managed the club for another two, has come out in support.
“I have a good relationship with the Sheikh. He is a serious, responsible person and I think he would do a good job,” Xavi explained to the media on Wednesday.
“I know him well. He’s a very good person and I think he would be a very good option for United. I worked in Qatar for six years.”
Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe made indicative offers to buy United before last Friday’s soft deadline.
Investment bank Raine Group are now assessing the offers they have received before deciding, with the Glazers, who – if anyone – should be given access to detailed financial information about the club. That would allow the bidders to carry out due diligence before making a formal offer.
If the Glazers do decide to sell United, the process is expected to be completed before the summer transfer window opens in June.
In the meantime, Raine could also ask the bidders to make other commitments as part of their offers. When Chelsea was sold last summer, the preferred bidders were asked to commit to spending £1.75bn on infrastructure, on top of the eventual £2.5bn sale price.
The Qatari bid have made it clear that any profit United makes under their ownership would be re-invested in the club and the local community. The same would be the case if Sir Jim Ratcliffe buys United.
As a lifelong United fan Ratcliffe is making his bid from the heart and is not believed to be motivated by making a financial return. United are regarded as being a great English cultural asset and investing in the club and infrastructure would be part of his vision for the future of United.
Whereas the Qatari bid would be debt free, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s offer is part-funded by debt but he and his company INEOS would be responsible for paying this back and it would not appear on United’s balance sheet.
US hedge fund Elliott Management also lodged a proposal with Raine before Friday’s deadline. They are not seeking to buy United but want to take a minority stake or provide debt financing for another bidder.
Gary Neville: Manchester united Take over by Qatar
Gary Neville says there are concerns among Manchester United fans that the Glazer family will look at an option to take investment and retain an amount of control of the club, rather than sell it.
With the Glazer family seeking a full or partial sale or partnership with third parties, Neville says the priority for United supporters is that the American family completely exit the club at the end of the process.
“I think what scares Man Utd fans most is the feeling this Man Utd ownership are running this process to drive a massive price up to try to somehow establish a level which means two of them can stay in and the rest of the family that want out can be bought out by an American fund who wouldn’t mind owning a minority or significant share but not the entirety of the share,” said Neville.
“That’s the biggest concern. The whole emphasis at this moment in time from Man Utd fans is this has to be the end of the Glazer ownership.”