Qatar sheikh bids for Man Utd as billionaire Ratcliffe enters race

In addition to the widely anticipated offer from British businessman Jim Ratcliffe, a consortium led by Qatari financier Prince Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani said Friday that it has submitted an offer to acquire complete control of Manchester United.

“Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 percent of Manchester United Football Club,” his press release said ahead of the Friday ‘soft’ deadline for bidders.

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The sole additional bidder to formally indicate interest is Ratcliffe’s Ineos.

He reportedly informed the American merchant bank Raine Group handling the sale that he can be the “long-term caretaker for the club” late on Friday, according to The Daily Telegraph.

According to a BBC story, Ratcliffe submitted a bid before the deadline of 2200GMT.

Saudi Arabia has also been anticipated to submit a bid.

Sheikh Jassim, the head of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), did not provide any information in his statement regarding the sum that was allegedly offered in the bid for United.

Yet, some claim that the cost could set a record at $6 billion.

That would be in contrast to the contentious 2005 leveraged takeover of the club by the US-based Glazer family. At the moment, United owes more than $620 million.

With Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will “seek to invest in the football teams, the training center, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports,” the proposal made public on Friday will be “totally debt free.”

The Glazers’ declaration that they were willing to selling or investing in the record-breaking 20-time English champions in November sparked rumors of a bidding battle between Saudi Arabian and Qatari interests.

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