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Qatari sheikh submits final bid for Manchester United
Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Briton Jim Ratcliffe have each seemingly taken turns to be the preferred bidder

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted a third and final bid to buy Manchester United FC.

It is understood the offer from the Qatari businessman, which was placed ahead of the club’s deadline on Friday, includes investment in manager Erik Ten Hag’s squad as well as money to develop the stadium and surrounding area around Old Trafford.

According to a report from Reuters, the bid is for 100 percent of the club and would remove all debt.

Although financial details of the latest offer were not revealed, UK-based The Guardian newspaper reported that it was worth in the region of £5 billion ($6.28 billion).

Sky Sports News reported that British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals giant INEOS, has also submitted a bid although that was for a majority stake in the club.

Manchester United has been owned by the American Glazer family since 2005. They revealed in November that they were keen to find new investors or to sell the club. They are reported to be looking for $6 billion for an outright sale.

The Glazers have been heavily criticised for their highly leveraged purchase and track record as owners. The club was debt-free ahead of their £790 million takeover and now has debt of £500 million. It has cost more than £1 billion to service the debt.

Manchester United was listed fourth in the latest edition of the global Deloitte Football Money League, released in January. The club made revenues of $739.45 million in 2022, up 23 percent year-on-year, according to Deloitte. 

This included $332 million accumulated through commercial activities, $273 million through the club’s share of broadcasting rights and $135 million from match-day revenues.

Any sale of the Old Trafford club would likely exceed the biggest sports deal so far, the $5.2 billion including debt and investments paid for Chelsea by American Todd Boehly and his consortium, sources told Reuters.