Man Utd warned takeover ‘uncertainty’ will create ‘colossal challenge’ for Ten Hag this summer

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Man Utd takeover warning Credit: Alamy
Man Utd takeover warning Credit: Alamy

Erik ten Hag has been warned that he faces a “colossal challenge” this summer amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Man Utd ownership situation.

Man Utd have been up for sale since last November. The two previous rounds of bidding did not ultimately lead to a takeover being finalised.

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It is now believed that a third and final round of bidding will take place this week with a deadline set for Friday evening.

Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are keen to complete a full takeover, but the Glazer family also have interest from several potential minority investors.

On Wednesday evening, journalist Ben Jacobs revealed that Ratcliffe is “prepared to offer Joel and Avram Glazer a route to stay”. 

“A big twist in the #MUFC sale process. Sir Jim Ratcliffe is prepared to offer Joel and Avram Glazer a route to stay. Under such a structure, Ratcliffe would gain control and leave Joel and Avram with around 20%,” Jacobs tweeted.

“Understand this is one option and will rest on the Glazer’s preference. Ratcliffe is ultimately being flexible, as sources always indicated he would be, to try and get control. There could also be a laddered element over time, too.

“Whereas Sheikh Jassim’s bid is referred to as ‘all or nothing’, Ratcliffe is looking for control. If Joel and Avram genuinely want to stay this could be one way of getting it.

“Insiders believe Ratcliffe would not be favourite to win a straight head-to-head against Sheikh Jassim for the full 69%, with some referring to INEOS as a ‘stalking horse’ in that context. But a change in structure makes the two groups significantly different.”

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It was initially hoped that a takeover could be completed during the first quarter of 2023 but the process is now unlikely to be finalised until the end of this season.

Finance expert Kieran Maguire thinks Man Utd are facing a “colossal challenge” this summer.

“In all businesses, somebody has to be the budget-setter, and that person is usually at the executive level,” Maguire told Football Insider.

“It is going to be a colossal challenge at Man United if they are still unsure about their status as either being owned by the Glazers or still in the process of a takeover at the end of the season.

“There could be uncertainty with regard to who is approving of significant capital expenditure both on infrastructure and players.

“This could allow Man United’s rivals, both domestically and overseas to leapfrog them in the transfer market over the course of the summer.

“It would further set back the ambitions of the club.“

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