Man Utd takeover: ‘Preferred bidder’ touted with record deal set to be determined by ‘decisive factor’

·3-min read
Man utd takeover Credit: Alamy
Man utd takeover Credit: Alamy

Sheikh Jassim has been tipped to edge out INEOS’ Sir Jim Ratcliffe in the race to become the new owner of Premier League giants Man Utd.

The Red Devils have been up for sale since November and the takeover saga looks to be nearing its conclusion.

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The third and final round of bidding took place at the end of April and the Glazer family are expected to pick their preferred bidder in the coming weeks. Jassim and Ratcliffe are in the running to become the club’s new majority stakeholders.

Jassim’s offer is all-or-nothing, while Ratcliffe is looking for control of the club but he is willing to keep the Glazers on board with a 20% share.

Sports finance expert – Dr Dan Plumley – thinks the Glazers will accept Jassim’s proposal for Man Utd as the “decisive factor is always money” and his bid would be better financially for the current owners compared to Ratcliffe’s offer.

“I think the decisive factor is always simply money when it comes down to it. If not the best offer on the table, it’ll be the one that is slightly preferred based on the finances behind it,” Plumley told The Express.

“If that is the price (£5/6bn) that the Glazers are wanting or at least are willing to sell at for a full takeover, let’s say, my gut feeling on it, and you know you’re always speculating slightly, but I just think the Qatar bid is probably slightly preferred at the minute because it’s a full takeover.

“Also, through the connections of that owner, you know that you could get access to funds further down the line to build the club because you’ve got to look at infrastructure, you’ve got to look at squad development, etc.

“It’s not just the takeover price, it’s all the other stuff that comes with it, so it does feel like that’s the one that has the most clout.”

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Jassim’s bid – which is believed to be worth around £5bn – would exceed the record £4.8bn deal to sell NFL outfit Washington Commanders.

Plumley also thinks the takeover is on track to be completed in time for Man Utd to spend significantly during this summer’s transfer window.

“I think that’s always been the marker with this one [before the summer transfer window]. You have to look at that in the context of the November deadline in the first instance,” Plumley added.

“It’s not unusual for these things to go that long, and actually, you will probably argue when you’ve got a £5/6 billion takeover in place that it does need to take time.

“You should be doing the full background checks all the way around. That’s the kind of time element to it, it might feel like it’s dragged on from a fan’s point of view, but it was always likely to play out that way.

“It all seemed to be pointing towards a deal being done before the start of the next window so that the new owners potentially or investors could have plans in place for the summer and moving forward.

“I think we’re still on that timeline. I know it probably feels like we’ve been talking about it forever, but it seems to be that we’re moving towards that time scale still.”

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