Glazers out? – Takeover talk ramps up at Manchester United
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Manchester United ‘will be sold to Qatar’, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The Glazers confirmed back in November they were open to selling the club. And while there are fears of an 11th-hour pull-out from the Americans, a full sale is more likely than investors coming on board.
The Glazers were criticised by Cristiano Ronaldo back in November, with the Portugal international claiming the Americans ‘didn’t care’ about United.
And they then confirmed they were open to selling the club, saying: “The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers.
“As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorised a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.
“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximises the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future.
“Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”
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And, now, the Independent report a source with knowledge of the situation has claimed United ‘WILL’ be sold to Qatar.
The Middle-Eastern nation have emerged as potential suitors for the Red Devils due to their vast wealth and love of football.
Qatar Sports Investments currently own Paris Saint-Germain and have transformed the Ligue 1 giants ever since seizing power.
But the Qatar Investment Authority, which is a separate entity, are being talked up as those to come to United’s rescue.
The Emir of Qatar is a supporter of the club, having studied in the United Kingdom during the 1990s.
And while PSG were supposedly purchased on the wishes of the Emir’s brother, Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa, a ‘rivalry’ between the pair remains.
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That, in part, is why a full takeover of United is on the agenda.
Some people at PSG have previously expressed a belief that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, instead, will buy the club.
But it now appears as though Qatar are genuine frontrunners to purchase a club that, after a decade of struggles, is starting to look the real deal once again.
The report adds there have been fears that the Glazers will, after all this, ultimately decide to keep hold of United.
Some potential bidders have reportedly been deterred from making an offer amid talk of an ‘11th-hour pull-out’.
One thing that is certain right now, however, is the Glazers want money one way or another.
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Brothers Joel and Avram have long insisted they care about United and there’s even a possible scenario where they buy out their siblings.
They’re open to investment, though a full takeover remains the preference from interested parties.
But if the Glazers do end up cashing in, it will be for a sizeable profit.
And what ultimately happens, with Friday’s deadline fast approaching, remains to be seen.
Former United star Gary Neville, meanwhile, recently outlined what he wants from any next owners of his old side.
“Manchester United and Liverpool, our two biggest clubs in the country are going to be sold in the next few months, it’s huge news,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Obviously with what’s happening at this current moment in time, the regulator coming in, the news of Manchester City this week and the pressure on them, it is either going to be another US consortium, similar to the one that’s taken over at Chelsea, or it’s going to be a Middle Eastern group.
“You’re fancying Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, they’ve all been mentioned, and I think to me it comes down to no debt, no dividends, commitment to rebuild the stadium, rebuild the area around the stadium, the training ground. Rebuild the first team – invest heavily in the team.
“Commitment to the fans and making sure that they’re involved and it’s affordable, all of those things are really important, and whoever comes in has to meet that commitment to pledges, the manifesto.
“That’s the most important thing because the one thing we can never determine – us or anybody – is who the Glazers are going to sell to.
“They’re going to sell to the people that offer them the most money.”
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