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who will buy man utd?

who will buy man utd?

The clock is ticking on Friday evening’s (UK time) soft deadline for interested parties to submit official bids for Manchester United, as the tumultuous reign of the Glazer family nears its end.

There have been several reports as to who is in the race for the English powerhouse as the prospective new owners look to return United to the top of the Premier League once more.

kigalidailynews.com breaks down all of the key questions surrounding the United sale in what promises to be a deal of seismic proportions set to send shockwaves through the sporting world.

WHY ARE THE GLAZERS SELLING?

The Glazer family bought Manchester United for the fee of $AUD1.3 billion in 2005 and have owned it ever since.

But in November last year, the Glazer family revealed it was “commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club” which included “new investments into the club, a sale, or other transactions”.

For a large portion of United fans, the Glazer family revealing their intentions to sell came as welcome news given the vociferous protests over the years against their ownership.

However, it’s almost certain the Glazer’s are not selling the club to appease supporters.

Rather, it’s about making as much money back as possible.

Given the increased financial might of their Premier League competitors, especially that of Manchester City and newly-minted Newcastle United, more money than ever will need to be spent to compete.

That’s not something the Glazer family seem terribly keen on doing and having saddled the Red Devils with monstrous debts during the 2005 takeover, they are craving a major profit from their initial investment.

There’s also the element of Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, also looking to sell or gain investment from outside parties, so the Glazer family also would not want to lose potential investors or new owners to an English rival.

 

who will buy man utd?
who will buy man utd?
Avram (left) and Joel (right) Glazer are looking to sell Manchester United. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

 

HOW MUCH ARE THE GLAZER’S SELLING FOR?

The $4.9b sale of Chelsea to Todd Boehly last year set a benchmark as to what the going rate would be for a big English club, but it appears the Glazer family want a substantial amount more.

According to The Telegraph, the Glazer family is seeking a staggering $8.7 billion for the club, but that figure could become lower in the official bidding process.

It is also worth noting the Glazer family has instructed the Raine Group to oversee the sale of the club as Chelsea appointed the same company to conduct their sale process.

Should the Glazer family sell United for their desired price, it would eclipse the world record of a sports team sale which is held by the Denver Broncos, who were sold for $6.6 billion last year.

who will buy man utd?
Todd Boehly bought Chelsea from Roman Abramovich for a monster fee last year. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

 

WHO ARE THE INTERESTED PARTIES?

As it stands, there is only one party to publicly declare their interest in purchasing Manchester United: British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe is the CEO of INEOS chemicals group and has a reported net worth of approximately $22 billion, per Forbes.

The 70-year-old already owns two football teams — Ligue 1 side Nice and Swiss outfit Lausanne-Sport — and was heavily linked with taking over Chelsea before Boehly eventually bought the London outfit in 2022.

Ratcliffe was named Britain’s richest man in 2019 and is the only countryman linked with a bid to take over United.

Although Ratcliffe is the sole figure to make a public declaration, several reports have stated parties from Qatar and Saudi Arabia are heavily interested in making a play for the Red Devils.

Qatar already owns Paris Saint-Germain through Qatar Sports Investments which makes any purchase a little bit tricky, but more on that later.

As for Saudi Arabia, The Telegraph reports a number of groups based in Riyadh have made “formal inquiries” into the sale.

However, the same report claims any bid for United is unlikely to come from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund which completed a takeover of Newcastle United in 2021.

 

who will buy man utd?
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has publicly declared his interest in buying Manchester United. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)Source: AFP

 

HOW COULD QATAR OWN MAN UTD AND PSG?

According to UEFA regulations, “no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition.”

That creates a massive hurdle should Qatar make a play for United through QSI, given they already own PSG.

PSG have qualified for the Champions League in every season since the 2012/13 campaign, while United have qualified for a European competition every season since 2015.

So, barring an absolutely catastrophic season from either team, UEFA’s roadblock is going to create some headaches.

However, a unique case passed by UEFA in 2017 would give QSI hope of owning PSG and United and allow them to compete in European competitions.

Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig and Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg are both owned by the energy drink group and have enjoyed tremendous domestic success since being bought by the company.

However, given the two teams play in different leagues and have different management setups, they were granted permission to play in the 2017/18 edition of the Champions League.

A statement by UEFA revealed “no individual or legal entity had anymore a decisive influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition” but insisted both teams would still have to make “several important governance and structural changes” in regards to financing, personnel and sponsorship arrangements.

It doesn’t mean UEFA would take the same stance should QSI purchase United, but at least there is a precedent set.

who will buy man utd?
QSI chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi could soon be president of both PSG and Manchester United. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)Source: AFP

 

COULD THE GLAZERS STAY ON?

Whisper it quietly, but there is a chance the Glazer family don’t complete a full sale of their controlling stake.

According to ESPN, the Glazer family are looking more in favour of bringing on a partner investor as opposed to an outright sale.

The additional investment would reportedly be used to help upgrade Old Trafford and the Red Devils’ Carrington training ground.

News of the Glazer family sticking around in Manchester would certainly not be welcomed by a majority of fans given their vocal protests over the years.

WHEN COULD A SALE HAPPEN?

Although a soft deadline to formally declare interest is almost here, no sale is likely to be concluded until the end of April, according to reports.

Should a sale be ratified around that time, it would give the new owner a full summer transfer window to make their mark on the playing squad should a full takeover be sanctioned.

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