Manchester United Takeover Stalls as Glazers Pause Sale Amid Disappointment with Bids

In a surprising twist, the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, has put the brakes on the club’s sale after being on the market for nine months. The deeply unpopular owners announced their intention to explore “strategic alternatives” and appointed The Raine Group, a merchant bank, to oversee the takeover process. However, a preferred bidder is yet to be officially named.

Among the contenders for the takeover were INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, both of whom were considered leading candidates in the saga. Despite their efforts, none of the offers managed to sway the American family’s decision. This development has left many United fans, who have long been eager for the Glazers to sell the club, in frustration after a decade without a Premier League title and 15 years without a Champions League triumph, struggling to compete with local rivals Manchester City.

Sources suggest that the Glazers have decided to halt the takeover process due to their dissatisfaction with the bids put forth by Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim. Both parties reportedly offered around £5 billion to acquire the family’s controlling stake in the club.

One significant factor contributing to the decision to pause the sale is believed to be Manchester United’s lucrative partnership with Adidas, valued at £900 million, which is set to run until June 2035. This long-term deal replaced Nike as the club’s kit manufacturer back in 2015.

Additionally, the Glazers are said to be closely monitoring the value of the Premier League’s upcoming TV deals and assessing the growth of football in the United States, as the current UK TV deal is set to expire in two years’ time.

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Despite the slow-moving takeover process, both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim remain interested in acquiring Manchester United. Ratcliffe aims to obtain a controlling share by buying out the Glazers, while Sheikh Jassim seeks a full takeover of the club.

Sir Dave Brailsford, INEOS’ director of sport, expressed the group’s keen interest in the acquisition during an interview with ITV. However, due to non-disclosure agreements, details of the negotiations cannot be divulged at this stage.

In the midst of the takeover drama, two anonymous members of the 1958 Group, a United supporters’ group, voiced their frustration during a recent interview with BBC Sport. They strongly urged the Glazers to sell the club, citing the perceived damage inflicted on the team and the fanbase during their ownership.

As the Manchester United takeover situation remains fluid, fans and football enthusiasts await further updates on the potential new custodians of one of the world’s biggest sporting institutions.

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