Glazers out? – Takeover talk ramps up at Manchester United
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The Glazers have made it clear they’re open to a total sale by inviting second bids for Manchester United in the next 10 days, reports say. Sheikh Jassim is one candidate to buy the Red Devils. However, while Sir Jim Ratcliffe is due to jet in for talks on Thursday, the Qatari billionaire won’t be personally attending for discussions himself.
According to the Daily Mail, candidates interested in buying United have been told to submit second bids within the next 10 days.
And while Ratcliffe is jetting in on Friday for talks, Sheikh Jassim won’t be flying to Manchester himself.
Instead, on Thursday, it’s said his team – which includes executives from the Bank of America, acting for the billionaire and lawyers hired by him – will be there.
The Sheikh wants to carry out a full takeover of the club, while Ratcliffe is interested in buying the Glazer family’s stake worth 69 per cent.
On Wednesday, it emerged there were two other parties interested in purchasing United.
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The report says the two other bidders are from the US, something that will potentially alarm fans of United.
Supporters are hoping the Glazers won’t sell to a party similar to themselves given the way the club has declined ever since they bought the team in 2005.
And while the Glazers have made it clear they’re interested in a total sale, it’s said partial investment would also be considered.
Presentations are due to be held later in the week and things should become significantly clearer by the end of the month.
And it’s Sheikh Jassim who seems to be frontrunner to buy the Red Devils, with reports earlier in the day suggesting the Glazers ‘hadn’t warmed’ to Ratcliffe so far.
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Meanwhile, both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim have attracted controversy amid their desire to buy United.
Regarding Ratcliffe, environmental group Greenpeace said back in January that accepting a bid from the INEOS billionaire would be an ‘awful own goal’.
“Accepting this bid would be an awful own goal for Manchester United,” a spokesperson said.
“Petrochemicals giant INEOS is just the latest fossil fuel company trying to use a popular sport to distract from their climate-wrecking business.
“With interests in oil and gas, plastics and agrichemicals, INEOS has a hat-trick of environmental harms to its name. They are top of the table for plastic production in the UK and are one of the loudest voices in favour of fracking.
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“Manchester United should really question whether polluting their image and enabling blatant sportswashing is really worth the dirty money they would get.”
As for Sheikh Jassim and Qatari investment, an advocacy group called FairSquare has urged UEFA to block the Middle-Eastern nation from buying United.
“A basic study of Qatar’s political and economic system amply demonstrates the impossibility of any Qatari consortium proving itself independent of state influence, and thus separate from the ownership of PSG,” they said in a recent letter.
“Freedom House’s World Freedom Index classifies Qatar as ‘not free’, and its most recent assessment is highly critical of Qatar’s record on the rule of law, corruption, and political participation.
“Qatar’s hereditary emir holds all executive and legislative authority and ultimately controls the judiciary.’
“UEFA’s Statutes are very clear on the critical importance of ensuring that no single party can exercise control or influence over more than one club, and this is all the more important when the owners are states.
“State ownership of European football clubs jeopardises the integrity of the game, its proclaimed values and its sustainability.”
Sheikh Jassim and his party are adamant that any purchase of United will be separate to the nation’s business at Paris Saint-Germain.
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