The true cost of Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s bid for Manchester United, inclusive of the promises he outlined upon submission of said bid, has been estimated at £6.73bn.
Mark Critchley of The Athletic has come up with the figure, along with a committed annual spend of around £126m, in a recent article.
To arrive at that figure, Critchley has assumed that the Qatari’s will be able to buy the club for around £4.5bn.
Whether or not they manage to do so is unclear, given that the Raine Group – who are handling the sale process of the Glazers’ behalf – were initially hoping to fetch somewhere between £6bn and £7bn for the club.
Sheikh Jassim has also promised to write off the club’s debt, which would cost £580m, and redevelop Old Trafford, estimated at a £1.6bn outlay.
The Glazer ownership has neglected the club’s infrastructure as well, meaning a £50m outlay on refurbishing Carrington would be likely. All in all, that is £2.23bn in commitments made beyond actually purchasing the club.
As to the annual costs, United average a £110m net spend on the men’s team, whereas £8m-a-year could see substantial improvements to the women’s team.
£8m per year would also be the going rate for funding an excellent academy, which was another of Sheikh Jassim’s outlined intentions.
There was also a commitment to community work in the Greater Manchester area, with the Manchester United Foundation having spent around £3.6m during the 2020/2021 season. A boost from that to £5m would see Sheikh Jassim’s promise fulfilled in that regard.
Should the Glazers hold out for their £6bn valuation and Sheikh Jassim meet it, he would be looking at an outlay of around £8.23bn, while annual expenditure could well be higher than £126m, particularly if significant investment in the men’s team were sought.
With so many costs beyond simply ousting the Glazers, it is little wonder that the sales process is taking so long.
The Tampa Bay family simply do not understand the cost of running Manchester United to the best of its potential, given that they have had little to no interest in doing so themselves during their 18 year tenure.