The value of Sheikh Jassim’s bid is believed to be worth around £5 billion.
Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has reportedly submitted his final bid for the purchase of Manchester United, one of the world’s most storied football clubs, hours ahead of the 28 April deadline, according to reports.
The son of Qatar’s former prime minister is said to be competing in the third and final bid against British billionaire and owner of INEOS Jim Ratcliffe for control of the club. Both Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe confirmed their intentions to purchase the club earlier this year, after the current owners, the Glazer family, put it up for sale.
The value of Sheikh Jassim’s bid is believed to be worth around £5 billion, which would make it the world’s largest ever sports franchise purchase. Despite this, the Glazer family has not yet confirmed whether or not they will accept the bid.
Sheikh Jassim’s bid has been overseen by investment bank, The Raine Group, with reports saying he has remained confident throughout the bidding process amid ongoing efforts to invest in global sports franchises.
The club’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Manchester United’s company’s market value on the New York Stock Exchange was about £3.4 billion as of Thursday’s close. Other analysts have also routinely valued Manchester United between £3-4 billion, however, the Glazers have set up a high asking price of £6 billion in the last bidding process.
Reports say the family will sell a minority stake to an American investment firm if the asking price is not met.
However, United fan groups have criticised the prospect of the Glazers remaining and have organised a mass protest outside Old Trafford before the Premier League match against Aston Villa on Sunday. This includes not entering the stadium until the 18th minute, marking the number of years the family have owned the club.
If the bid is successful, Sheikh Jassim would become the owner of one of the most valuable football clubs and the fourth richest in the world, according to an analysis by Deloitte. The club has a global fan base of over 650 million people and generates significant revenue from merchandise sales, sponsorships, and television rights.
It has won 20 English Premier League titles, 12 FA Cups, and three European Cups, making it one of history’s most successful soccer clubs.
The potential acquisition of Manchester United by Sheikh Jassim has generated significant interest and speculation from sports fans and analysts around the world.
Some have expressed concern that Sheikh Jassim’s bid could lead to further commercialisation of the club and a focus on profits over sporting success. However, he has said his investment would lead to greater investment in the club’s infrastructure and players, helping to restore the club to its former glory.
Reuters reports that should the bid be successful Sheikh Jassim plans to additionally remove 100% of the club’s debt which is £536 million.