The Manchester United takeover process is currently in its final stretch.
This is according to The Guardian, who report that Qatar-based businessman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani is now leading the race to buy the club ahead of INEOS billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Last week, The Peoples Person covered a report which indicated that Nine Two Foundation, the investment vehicle being spearheaded by Sheikh Jassim, was negotiating the possibility of entering an exclusivity period with the Glazers.
This was later disputed. It was also relayed that the Glazers might still be technically in charge when the new season starts in August.
Even if a preferred bidder is named in the next few days, an approval process lasting between eight to twelve weeks is set to follow.
The Guardian says, “The sense both publicly and privately is that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani’s Nine Two foundation has slipped ahead of Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos bid after making a fifth and final offer this month.”
“That said, it is understood both parties were still in active and detailed discussions last week, and few behind the scenes are willing to make firm bets.”
“That is partly because of the opaqueness of the process, and the uncertainty of the Glazers’ full motives – along with the way Raine, the US bank running the sale, has repeatedly tried to ramp up the price. Even so, most believe we are now in the endgame.”
The Guardian goes into detail about the Glazers’ shameful leveraged buyout of United that took place 18 years ago.
The American family loaded a debt of £540m to take over control at Old Trafford. Years later, the debt is still eye-watering and stands at £535.7m.
Recently, the Premier League voted to cap leveraged buyouts at around 65% of a club’s value. The motivation behind this is to restrict the kind of buy-outs the Glazers used to purchase United.
Unfortunately for United fans, this change in the rules and regulations came 18 years too late.