Manchester United is still for sale, but rumors from Qatar on Monday stated that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani had defeated Sir Jim Ratcliffe and received the Glazers’ approval.
Despite the fact that no official announcement has been made, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has been congratulated on his supposed takeover of Manchester United.
The Premier League heavyweights have yet to announce their new major owner, with current owners the Glazer family expected to select a preferred bidder this week. Sheikh Jassim, a billionaire Qatari banker, has been in a bidding war with INEOS CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe to buy United for the past eight months.
Sheikh Jassim has submitted five proposals, and reports from Qatar on Monday stated that his last offer was sufficient to persuade the Glazers, who have been holding out for £6 billion since putting the club up for sale in November. Despite the lack of proof, some fans are already giddy with anticipation.
They’ve recently been boosted by a Qatari businessman named Zaidm Al-Hamdan. He tweeted as Chairman of the Armasite Group, “Congratulations to Shaikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim on his acquisition of @manutd.” Within 12 hours of being posted, the tweet received 25,000 likes.
Al-Hamdan’s comment came after Qatari news source Al-Watan, which is 50% controlled by Sheikh Jassim’s father, stated that the deal was successful, all while United’s share price rose. Conflicting reports emerged on Tuesday morning, though, with the Press Association adding that Sheikh Jassim’s team view the allegation of him being successful as ‘pure speculation’ and that – alongside Ratcliffe’s INEOS – they remain in a ‘holding pattern’.
The appointment of the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank as United’s next owner would not only terminate the Glazers’ profoundly unpopular 18-year tenure at Old Trafford but would also drag the club into the tumultuous debate about sports washing. Premier League clubs are concerned that Sheikh Jassim will serve as a front for Qatar’s agenda to be advanced through their ownership of United.
Although Ratcliffe’s campaign has been relatively quiet, Sheikh Jassim’s bid has been cloaked in much more secrecy. With little information about him accessible, United fans’ sole tangible evidence is his initial statement stating his ambition to buy the club.
“Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 percent ownership of Manchester United Football Club,” a representative for the Nine Two Foundation, his vehicle for purchasing the club, said in February.
“The bid intends to restore the club to its former glory both on and off the field, and, above all, to put the fans back at the heart of Manchester United Football Club.”
“The bid will be debt-free thanks to Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will invest in the football teams, the training center, the stadium, and surrounding infrastructure, the fan experience, and the communities the club supports.”
“The bid envisions Manchester United Football Club as the greatest football club in the world, renowned for footballing excellence.” More information about the bid will be made available as the bid process progresses.”