Man Utd’s next owner? All you need to know about Qatari Sheikh Jassim
Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has launched a bid to become the new owner of Manchester United.
The banker officially submitted a serious bid to take over the 13-time Premier League champions on Friday and will rival British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe to take control of the club.
We’ve put together a rough guide of everything you need to know about the man who might be United’s next owner.
Who is Sheikh Jassim?
Sheikh Jassim is the son of former Qatar prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, who served in the role between 2007 and 2013 – in the role when Qatar successfully won their bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
He was born in 1982 and was educated at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, going on to graduate as an officer cadet.
The businessman later became chairman of one of Qatar’s leading banks, the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB).
The key points from banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani's bid to buy Manchester United:
◉ Bid is debt free
◉ Invest in the infrastructure of the club
◉ Distributing profits
◉ Make them the greatest club in the world pic.twitter.com/Mc0G8C0xjB
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 18, 2023
Does he have any connection with Man Utd?
According to a Sky Sports report, Sheikh Jassim has been a Manchester United fan since he was a 10-year-old back in 1992.
Further details on his affinity and fandom with the club are relatively thin on the ground.
“I’m also being told any profits that are made from him owning Manchester United he will put back into the club and the Nine Two Foundation,” noted Sky reporter Koveh Solhekol.
“He doesn’t want to make any money out of this at all. He’s not doing it to make money, he’s doing it because he’s a Manchester United supporter.”
It’s been suggested that Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two foundation is named after United’s famous Class of ’92.
His competitor for the takeover, Ratcliffe, is also said to be a lifelong United supporter.
How rich is Sheikh Jassim?
The net worth of the man himself is currently unknown. However, it’s not his personal wealth that would allow him to complete what would be a world-record deal to own a sports club.
The Sun report that Qatar’s Royal Family, of whom he’s a member, have a collective net worth of £275billion.
It hasn’t officially been announced what the bid for United is, but according to a report in L’Equipe it’s something in the region of €4.5billion.
This would be in accordance with the club’s valuation on the New York Stock Exchange, but Independent journalist Miguel Delaney has stated that would fall “considerably short” of the Glazers’ asking price.
READ: 12 former Man Utd players to speak out against the Glazers: Neville, Rio…
What about Qatar’s ownership of PSG?
It’s a complicated one, this, but industry sources believe there shouldn’t be an issue because this will be viewed as a separate operation to that of QSI (Qatar Sports Investments), which is a subsidiary of the state-run sovereign-wealth fund in Qatar.
The Athletic has previously reported that the Emir of Qatar decided during the World Cup to “grow its ambitions in sport” further.
UEFA regulations state that two clubs that are majority-owned by the same entity are unable to compete in the same European competitions – namely the Champions League.
However, QSI would not be involved in this bid, which insists that funding won’t be from the government of Qatar. In theory that should allow PSG and Manchester United the ability to play, and potentially face off, in European competition.
What’s he said?
“Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100% of Manchester United,” read a statement from the Sheikh’s Nine Two Foundation.
“The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch, and – above all – will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United once more.
“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the Club supports.
“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.”
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