Manchester United’s worth dropped once it was revealed that the Glazer family would continue its ownership of the team.
Alleged reports of Ratcliffe currently being in the lead in the bid battle for Manchester United may actually be part of a plan by New York bankers Raine to compel even higher bids from both Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Ratcliffe, sources disclosed to British media.
Although it is believed that Ratcliffe’s team has not been informed of their current position, they are certain that their offer, which would leave the Glazers with 20% of the club, is enticing.
Given that non-Glazer stockholders own another 31% of the club, it is unclear how a such a deal would be put together. But if Ratcliffe spent at least £2.5 billion to acquire 49% of the Glazers’ present 69.9% stake, the club would be worth more than $5 billion.
By the end of trading on Friday, United’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange had dropped to $18.12 (£14.54), giving the team a market cap of $2.96 billion (£2.38 billion).
Any sale over £5 billion would be impressive, however Raine and the Glazers still seem to believe they can get more, reports said.
Those familiar with Sheikh Jassim’s mindset predict that speculation about the auction’s ups and downs will persist, and the Qatari banker is still unaware of the potential timing or direction of events.
Although it is acknowledged that Raine and/or the Glazers may just be looking to maximise the sale price, Sheikh Jassim is still adamant about his offer of $5 billion for 100% of the club, reports said.
“Ultimately it’s up to the Glazers what they want to do and where we go from here,” one source said, as quoted by reports.
“The process has always been a very fluid one and, crucially, has never had a set timeframe – though clearly the fans would like one for understandable reasons.”
However, last week, experts said Sheikh Jassim’s bid to complete a Manchester United takeover looked to be the Glazers’ preferred route.
The sheikh’s rival bidders, INEOS are proposing to own just over 50% of the club, meaning the Glazers could retain their stake of approximately 20%.
Experts claimed the American owners, who are not particularly liked by Red Devils supporters, will still be tempted to accept Sheikh Jassim’s offer.
Dan Plumley, an expert in sports finance, maintained that the Glazers would favour an entire acquisition for more money.
“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,” he said.
The deadline for a takeover was said to be before the summer transfer window, as per initial reports that came after the club’s November announcement to seek funding.
Despite setbacks along the way, Plumley still thinks a takeover will be finished in time for United’s new owners to show up and shift matters around in the market.
The process so far has appeared to point to a deal being completed before the beginning of the incoming window so that the potential new owners or investors could have preparations in place for the summer and moving forward, he said.
Numerous supporters dislike the Glazers, who have been in ownership of the team since 2005. The unpopularity is often linked to below-par performances in the Premier League and the lack of investment in Old Trafford.
Manchester United’s worth dropped once it was revealed that the contentious Glazer family would continue to own the team.
After ESPN reported that owners and co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer are optimistic they can get funding to allow them to retain ownership of the club, the company’s stock price dropped 13%.