Manchester United’s protracted takeover process might be nearing an end but not to the effect fans would have liked when a strategic review was first announced.
The club had announced that a full sale was possible last year with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani submitting multiple bids.
While the INEOS chairman was eyeing an initial 51 per cent stake, the Qatari prince wanted to complete a 100% takeover of the club.
INEOS minority stake
With the process dragging on, the British billionaire decided to tweak his initial proposal and put in a new bid to see him acquire a minority stake of 25 per cent.
That would allow the Glazers to stay on for the time being with INEOS eventually set to acquire the club fully in the next couple of years.
The fans were deeply disappointed with the arrangement but it seems the deeply unpopular American owners are heading towards agreeing a deal with INEOS.
While Sir Jim’s minority stake offer was expected to be ratified this week, it seems there will be a further delay and there could still be a chance for the Qatari royal to re-enter the race.
Sheikh Jassim still not out?
As per Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol, “At the moment they’re telling us they’re out and that’s it, but you can’t totally rule out a scenario whereby the Ratcliffe deal falls apart and that gives an opportunity for Sheikh Jassim to re-enter the process.
“There’s no indication any of that’s going to happen right now, but Sheikh Jassim does have the finances to buy Manchester United at what he believes is a premium price.”
A lot will depend on what the board decide and in case the deal with INEOS falls through, there may still be a chance for Sheikh Jassim to seize control.
They had refused to up their offer as they felt they were already paying a premium while also removing the club’s debt and promising investment into its infrastructure and the community.