In this February 1, 2023 photo, Manchester United fans hold a banner reading “Glazers Out” during the League Cup semi-final second leg. On Friday, February 17, 2023, the deadline to submit offers to buy the team arrives. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — A bid from Qatar to acquire Manchester United was confirmed Friday. Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani promised that he will wipe out all the debt of the team and that he will return to the glory years.
Sheikh Jassim is Chairman of QIB, which is one of Qatar’s leading banks, delivered an offer to acquire 100% of the team that currently belongs to the Glazer family.
“The offer is completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which is looking to invest in football teams, training facilities, the stadium and infrastructure, fan experience and the communities that support the club,” it said in a statement.
It does not mention the amount of the offer.
Today is the last day for anyone to submit serious offers and continue as bidders to buy Manchester United.
After months of speculation and rising share prices, initial offers need to be submitted on Friday to merchant bank Raine Group, which is handling the purchase of the world’s most renowned soccer team.
At the end of the day the Glazer family of the United States will have an idea of how much they could expect to receive for the club they bought for $1.4 billion in 2005.
It is estimated that the price could reach 6,000 million dollars, due to the alleged interest of Saudi Arabia and that led to the drastic increase in its price as the deadline approached.
Although Friday’s date has been described as a soft deadline, Raine and the Glazer family will have a clearer picture of potential buyers before moving on to the next phase of the process. Sheikh Jassim’s announcement followed speculation about Qatar’s interest.
Prior to this announcement, only British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has publicly confirmed his intention to bid to acquire the club he has supported since childhood.
In addition to Qatar, Saudi Arabia is expected to submit an offer. There are also rumors that Elon Musk could make an offer from the United States.
Ratcliffe, owner of petrochemicals giant INEOS, announced last month its intention to bid and remains the only contender to have made it public. It’s a change in strategy from last year when he submitted a last-minute offer for Chelsea but it was not considered because he missed a deadline set by Raine, who also handled the sale.
Ratcliffe, the current owner of France’s Nice, said last year he had no interest in bidding for another Premier League club after missing out on Chelsea and received little support from the Glazer family. But he would become a popular choice among fans due to his support for the team.
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