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Qatari consortium confirms bid for Manchester United

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and manager Erik ten Hag Reuters/Lee Smith
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and manager Erik ten Hag

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber Al Thani, the son of a former prime minister of Qatar, has confirmed that his consortium has made a bid to buy Manchester United.

“The bid plans to return the club to its former glories,” the consortium said in a statement.

“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports.

“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world.”

The Glazer family have owned the club since 2005 but revealed in November that they are either looking for new investors or to sell outright.

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, named the richest man in the UK by Forbes, is also among potential suitors of the club. The 70-year-old owner of chemicals company Ineos has a net worth of £13 billion ($15.7 billion) and is a United supporter.

A soft deadline of 22:00GMT on Friday was set for offers to buy the club. But it is believed others from the United States and possibly Saudi Arabia are forthcoming.

Merchant bank Raine Group is leading the sale.

United were listed fourth in the 26th edition of the global Deloitte Football Money League. The club made revenues of $739.45 million in 2022, up 23 percent year-on-year. 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.

Sheikh Jassim is the chairman of one of Qatar’s biggest banks, Qatar Islamic Bank. His father, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Mohammed bin Thani Al Thani, who is known informally by his initials HBJ, was the prime minister of Qatar from 2007 to 2013.