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Qatari Entrepreneur Steps Back from Attempt to Acquire Manchester United Football Club


Qatari Entrepreneur Steps Back from Attempt to Acquire Manchester United Football Club

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Sheikh Jassim’s Bold Bid Unfulfilled, Continuity of Glazer Ownership Persists

Renowned Qatari entrepreneur, Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, has formally retracted his endeavor to secure the Manchester United Football Club from its current proprietors, the Glazer family, as per credible sources linked to the bid who have authenticated the disclosure to Al Jazeera.

In recent times, Sheikh Jassim, the leader of a Qatari bank and the offspring of a former Qatari premier, engaged in dialogues with the American proprietors. Nevertheless, both parties failed to reach a consensus on the appraisal of the UK-based club.

Sheikh Jassim had displayed a strong inclination to procure a 100 percent interest in Manchester United and was ready to propose a value “nearly doubled” the present club assessment, which certain reports gauge to be at $3.3 billion. His ambitious proposition also encompassed a commitment of an initial capital surpassing $1.7 billion, allocated for player transitions, infrastructure enhancements, and communal initiatives.

Regrettably, he has conveyed to the Glazer family his verdict not to advance with the procurement, categorizing their estimation as “extravagant” in accordance with sources allied with his bid.

The Glazers instigated the process of “exploring strategic alternatives” to their ownership in November last year subsequent to nearly 18 years of ownership, marking a momentous progress for the renowned football club.

British tycoon Sir Jim Ratcliffe, initiator and chairman of the INEOS chemicals conglomerate, had tendered an offer seeking 69 percent possession of the club, mirroring the identical percentage maintained by the Glazers. Ratcliffe’s offer, while possibly assessing the club at a higher price than Sheikh Jassim’s, encompassed a minority stake in the club.

However, he has since revised his proposal, now offering to purchase 25 percent of the club, which would allow one or more of the Glazers to retain their ownership. This revised bid may not align with the sentiments of many fans who have long expressed their disapproval of the Florida-based family’s ownership of the club.

The Glazer family’s association with Manchester United commenced in 2003 when the late real estate mogul Malcolm Glazer acquired a 2.9 percent stake in the club. Two years later, the family assumed full ownership through a leveraged buyout, remitting 790 million British pounds ($958 million), where borrowed funds were secured against the club’s assets. This acquisition incited widespread discontent among fans, who criticized the new owners for burdening the previously thriving club with substantial debt.

Reflecting on the potential sale when it was initially disclosed last year, Ahmed Bilal, the editor of the football blog Man Utd News, opined, “It is an insufficient representation to say that fans will be content [if the club is sold] – the disdain for the Glazers runs deep.”

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