Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is actively strategizing to usher in a series of long-awaited changes at Manchester United as he inches closer to his highly anticipated takeover of the club, with intentions to conclude the deal by mid-October.
The Qatari banker, who is nearing a monumental £6 billion acquisition of the club, is reported to have emerged victorious in a rigorous bidding battle that has spanned from November 2022, rivaling the efforts of Sir Jim Ratcliffe. This contest, marked by multiple rounds of bidding and fan demonstrations, has been closely watched by football enthusiasts worldwide. Sheikh Jassim has vowed to secure full ownership of Manchester United, thereby terminating the Glazer family’s contentious 18-year tenure at Old Trafford.
In contrast, British billionaire and INEOS chief executive, Ratcliffe, had formulated a proposal that would retain a stake for the Glazers within the club. According to sources, The Sun among them, Sheikh Jassim has gained the upper hand and is now conducting the final stages of due diligence over Manchester United before sealing a monumental deal that is poised to reverberate throughout the football realm. An official announcement could potentially materialize as early as the coming month. The son of Qatar’s former prime minister intends to promptly eradicate the club’s substantial debt burden, which recent figures place at £725 million. Distinct from the Glazers, Sheikh Jassim is committed to forgoing any dividend payments from the club—a key point of contention for many supporters disgruntled with the Glazer family’s ownership.
Aligned with his Qatari team, Sheikh Jassim envisions a comprehensive renovation plan for both Manchester United’s iconic home ground, Old Trafford, and their state-of-the-art training facility at Carrington. Additionally, the ambitious takeover plan encompasses sizeable investments in the playing squad under the guidance of manager Erik ten Hag, aiming to finance a resurgence to the pinnacle of European football through a series of high-profile transfers.
In February, Sheikh Jassim, who is also the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, presented his vision to concerned supporters, acknowledging potential reservations surrounding a state-backed takeover, despite the assurance that the Glazers would be displaced. He declared, “Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 per cent of Manchester United Football Club. The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch and – above all – will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club once more. The bid will be completely debt-free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience, and communities the club supports. The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.”
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