Manchester United’s long-winded takeover rolls on and on


Old Trafford (interior), Manchester United” by stacey.cavanagh is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

In late November of last year the current owners of Manchester United announced that they were looking for ‘external investment’. This essentially meant that the Glazer family were willing to sell the club completely, or offer a smaller stake of the club to increase investment into the Red Devils. Some seven months later, the potential sale of Manchester United has become a frustration, not just for fans but also staff working at the club, including manager Erik ten Hag.

Still two front runners

The sale process is supposedly coming to an end according to multiple media reports, with the two frontrunners to potentially be the next MUFC owners being Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Sheikh Jassim’s bid, known as the Qatar bid, is for 100% of Manchester United and Jassim has pledged to remove all debt from the club and invest heavily in the training ground, the Old Trafford stadium and surrounding areas.

There are ongoing rumours that Sheikh Jassim has entered exclusive United takeover talks with the Glazers, however nothing has been finally confirmed between the two parties. Sheikh Jassim’s bid is seen as the favoured option by all six Glazer family members, with the offer from Qatar for the English club being around $6 billion.

Meanwhile, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has pledged to take over a minority stake of Manchester United which would keep the Glazers at Manchester United, albeit the American family would only be minority stakeholders, with the club’s leadership changing hands to ‘Sir Jim’. Despite Ratcliffe’s bid valuing Man United at a higher price, his offer is seen as second favourite.

Impact of the sale process on Manchester United

With a huge dark cloud hanging over Manchester United’s ownership, it’s fair to say it’s having an impact on the playing squad at Old Trafford. Whilst the summer transfer budget for manager Ten Hag is believed to be £120 million, the uncertainty over the ownership structure is having an effect in negotiations with players, over contracts and wider financial planning. Marcus Rashford’s contract renewal, for example, has progressed well but won’t be finalised until the ownership is confirmed.

With critical acquisitions needed to help Ten Hag strengthen on a positive season for Manchester United, the reported transfer kitty seems almost too little to improve in areas such as defence, midfield and attack all in one summer. If Sheikh Jassim does remove all debt from the football club, Ten Hag would reportedly be able to spend an extra £50 million on transfers, as the new Qatari owner may give the manager additional funds to play with.

The potential of United getting new owners

If Manchester United do in fact get new owners before the start of the season which is seen as very unlikely, then the fan base would be extremely happy. An ongoing battle between the fans and current owners over the past 18 years would come to an end and United fans would finally start to feel like they have their club back, even with the possible Qatari involvement.

There would also be comfort from staff members who are at the moment, uncertain about their job security due to not being informed about the sale process. Players currently at the club and that could come into the club would be informed about the new owners’ plans and their aims for the football club going forward.

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