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Manchester United takeover: Sheikh Jassim Bin Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe world-record offers WITHHELD – but £5billion bids expected to be ratified this week

The prospective sale of Manchester United has been thrown into chaos after the two main bidders withheld their world-record offers at the last minute, NaijaOnPoint understands.

Associates of Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe briefed they had made offers before Wednesday night’s 9pm deadline.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the leading contenders to buy Man United

But sources close to the Raine Group, who are acting on behalf of the Glazer family, insist no formal bids from the pair were received.

Both parties are expected to ratify their bids, worth around £5billion, by the end of the week.

But NaijaOnPoint has been told several other groups interested in buying a smaller percentage of United, did meet their deadline.

As reported earlier this week, brothers Joel and Avram Glazer are still leaning towards selling a minority shareholding rather than the entire club.

Any bid would eclipse the world-record fee for a sports club with NFL side the Denver Broncos being sold for £3.75bn last summer currently the record.

The Raine group, who are brokering the sale, closed for business in New York at 5pm (9pm UK time).


The first bid from Sheikh Jassim was in the region of around £4.5bn, short of the £6bn asking price the Glazers are asking for.

Ratcliffe and his INEOS delegation spent six hours last Friday to discuss their plans and objectives should they be successful in their offer.

He described how he intends on investing to ensure Man United are ‘purely in winning things’, calling the club a ‘community asset’.

The Qataris are also not wiling to pay over the odds for the club, with a delegate spending ten hours at Old Trafford in the past.

Ratcliffe, a self confessed United fan, was at Old Trafford last Friday for talks

Eamonn and James Clarke

Ratcliffe, a self confessed United fan, was at Old Trafford last Friday for talks

The Glazers acquired the club for £750million in a highly-leveraged deal in 2005. After a controversial reign, they announced they were seeking ‘strategic alternatives’ that could include a sale last year.

Ratcliffe, who made an unsuccessful bid in the region of £4.25billion to buy Chelsea in 2022, was born in the Manchester area and is a boyhood Man United fan. He is one of the richest people in Britain with an estimated personal fortune of £6bn.

Sheikh Jassim, the son of a former Qatari prime minister, is the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank. He has said his interest is a private initiative through his Nine Two Foundation and is not connected to the Qatari state.

Little or nothing is known of other potential bidders but it reported that US hedge fund Elliott Management have made a proposal that would involve offering finance to either new bidders or the Glazers.

Joel and Avram are still unsure about letting their asset go, however

AFP

Joel and Avram are still unsure about letting their asset go, however

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