Manchester United: Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim withdraws from process to buy club | Football News

Sheikh Jassim Withdraws Bid: Manchester United Takeover Saga Continues

Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani has decided to withdraw from the ongoing process to acquire Manchester United, stirring up further speculation and anticipation.

Despite his substantial offer that valued the club at over £5bn, it appears that the bid did not meet the expectations of the Glazers, who have been the owners of Manchester United since 2005.

Sheikh Jassim and Ineos billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe were the leading contenders to take over the football club, but it seems the Qatari’s valuation did not make the cut and he has now stepped back from the bidding process.

Meanwhile, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s proposal involved purchasing around 25% of the club, expressing his long-standing fanhood for Manchester United.

Last month, Sky News reported that Sir Jim’s Ineos Sports made a compelling offer to the Glazer family, suggesting an acquisition of both their shares and the stock publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This proposal created a stir, offering an equal proportion for both sets of shares.

The two bidders who were looking to buy Manchester United

Maintaining the equal price for both shares, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s plan gained significant attention.

Sheikh Jassim, on the other hand, intended to secure full ownership of the club and his party declared a fifth and final bid in June as a last-ditch effort to finalize the deal.

It’s worth noting that the Qatari businessman initially made his bid for Manchester United in February.

Kaveh Solhekol provided an update earlier this month on the possible Manchester United takeover following reports that Sir Jim Ratcliffe may now only acquire a minority stake in the club

Reports surfaced in May that Sheikh Jassim’s bid team hinted at the possibility of withdrawal due to the lack of progress following the Glazers’ request for a final offer in April.

Although Sheikh Jassim has raised his bid since then, it appears that it fell short of the Glazers’ expectations, despite surpassing the club’s valuation of $3.3bn on the New York Stock Exchange.

As the difference in valuation remains a sticking point, there is a chance that Sheikh Jassim may reconsider and rejoin the prolonged bidding process, especially as protests against the Glazers persist.

Amidst growing discontent with the current ownership, Manchester United’s performance on the pitch hasn’t been stellar, with four losses in the Premier League and two defeats in the Champions League in the 2023-24 season under manager Erik ten Hag.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Sheikh Jassim’s bid would have made Manchester United the most expensive sports team in history, surpassing the purchase of NFL side Washington Commanders by at least £200m. However, it still fell short of the Glazers’ valuation of the club, estimated at around £6bn.

Expressing their concerns, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) has called on the Glazer family to clarify their stance and intentions. The statement released by MUST expressed hope that Sheikh Jassim’s withdrawal would prompt a resolution rather than prolonging the uncertainty that has prevailed over the past 11 months.

While Manchester United seeks investment for stadium upgrades and a return to Premier League success, the Glazers’ ownership has been riddled with protests and a lack of trophies since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

Notably, the Red Devils ended their trophy drought earlier this year by clinching the Carabao Cup, their first major silverware in six years, with a victory over Newcastle United.

Timeline of Man Utd Takeover Saga

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