Ineos and Sheikh Jassim Continue Battle for Manchester United Takeover As Sir Jim Ratcliffe Firmly Denies Intention to Rename Old Trafford

The race for ownership of Manchester United continues as prospective owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos expresses his determination to secure a majority stake in the club. Ineos, the chemical giant led by Ratcliffe, remains a strong contender alongside Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, who aims for full control of the club. The takeover saga, now spanning over seven months, sees the Glazer family, current owners of the club, reluctant to bring the negotiations to a close.

Both Ineos and Sheikh Jassim have presented multiple bids, with the Qatari banker submitting a fifth bid just last month. While Sheikh Jassim pursues a swift conclusion by offering substantial financial bids, Ratcliffe and Ineos have adopted a more patient approach, waiting for a decision from the Glazer family. The American-based owners officially put Manchester United up for sale on November 22, 2022.

Speaking at a book launch event in Knightsbridge, Ratcliffe acknowledged the confidentiality of the process due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) but expressed his commitment to the potential deal. He stated, “We obviously can’t say too much because we’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and we respect that, but there’s still a process and we’re in the process. We have a good offer, we’ve met the Glazers a couple of times, and we had a good conversation, but at the end of the day, it’s their decision… we would still very much like to do it. I also believe we would do a good job and do it for the right reasons. We keep very focused on it.”

Despite concerns that the bidding contenders may be overpaying for the club, Ratcliffe sees Manchester United as a positive investment. He compared the club to art, emphasizing its rarity and long-term value. Ratcliffe stated, “They ain’t making them any more. Manchester United and these types of clubs, it’s like art or areas like that. When you have special things and their value continues to pick up over time because they are very special and rare. I don’t like throwing money away or losing money. It doesn’t make me happy at all. But we aren’t there to make money out of it. If it’s a really good asset, it will increase its value over time.”

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Addressing speculations about potential commercial opportunities, Ratcliffe firmly denied any intention of renaming Old Trafford, asserting, “God no, that would be heresy.”

As the battle for ownership of Manchester United unfolds, fans and football enthusiasts eagerly await the outcome, while the Glazer family’s decision remains the pivotal factor in determining the future of one of the world’s most iconic football clubs.

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