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14/06/2023 11:47

Man Utd takeover latest as Sheikh Jassim claim is clarified

Reports on Monday night emerged saying Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani had won the race with Sir Jim Ratcliffe to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family

The head of a Qatari media outlet that sparked speculation that Sheikh Jassim had completed a takeover of Manchester United has rowed back on the claim.

Late on Monday night, reports from Qatar emerged stating Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani had won the race with Sir Jim Ratcliffe to take control of the club. It was trumpeted that it would ‘soon’ be announced that the obscure Qatari banker had been given the blessing from the Glazer family to buy 100 percent of the club’s shares.

Sheikh Jassim was even congratulated by a prominent Qatari businessman, while United fans desperate to see the back of the deeply unpopular Glazer family reacted with glee on social media. The news also caused Manchester United’s share price to spike on the New York Stock Exchange as the market expected a takeover announcement.

At the time of writing, United’s share price stands at $22.37 – up by 11.4 percent over the past 24 hours. That is the highest the stock price has been since mid-April. But it now appears that all the excitement was built on hot air, with the editorial director of Al Watan – the Qatari outlet which ‘broke’ the news – issuing a clarification.

On Monday night, Al Watan’s Fahed Al Emadi tweeted: “All the news received indicates the success of Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim’s acquisition of Manchester United, and the announcement of the deal will be very soon.” His tweet followed another from the outlet’s official account which stated, in unequivocal terms, that Sheikh Jassim had won the race.

Al Emadi has now changed his tune. He tweeted: “Contrary to certain media and social media reports overnight, Al Watan is not owned by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and Al Watan’s media report yesterday speculating about possible movement in the Manchester United takeover process was based on international media reports, as stated in the article itself, and with such news widely circulating periodically in international media for many months.”

Sheikh Jassim is bidding to buy Manchester United

Sheikh Jassim is bidding to buy Manchester United
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is Sheikh Jassim’s father and the former Prime Minister of Qatar. The initial reports were given weight by suggestions that he owned shares in Al Watan, hence potentially giving them insider information about the takeover.

It has now been 203 days since the Glazers announced they were “exploring strategic alternatives” for Manchester United. Despite speculation, we are yet to hear from Avram or Joel Glazer, or Raine Group – the US merchant bank overseeing the process on their behalf.

Sheikh Jassim submitted what was described as a fifth and final take-it-or-leave-it offer last week for the club. The Glazers do not appear to be in any rush to push forward the process, despite the uncertainty surrounding the situation potentially having knock-on effects for the club.

Manager Erik ten Hag admitted recently he was in the dark over the club’s budget for the summer transfer window, which opens on Monday.

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