Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s battle to become the new owner of Man Utd is “the dirty derby”, according to Greenpeace UK’s co-executive director.
Man Utd have been up for sale since November last year. Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe (Ineos’ chief executive) have since established themselves as the frontrunners to buy the club from the Glazer family.
Sheikh Jassim’s representatives met with United’s hierarchy on Thursday while Ratcliffe’s meeting took place on Friday.
The Qatari businessman ‘will make a second bid for Manchester United within 10 days’, according to Sky Sports.
Reporter Kaveh Solhekol added: “I am very confident they will make that second bid and a source in the US has told me ‘there should be no doubt at all that Sheikh Jassim wants to be the owner and custodian of Manchester United.
“In the past few weeks, I have been saying that I don’t think that Sheikh Jassim is the sort of person who is going to overpay wildly for the club. That is what I was told.
“But today, I am getting the sense that he will do what it takes to become the club’s new owner. He’s not going to throw money at it but I am getting the feeling that he really, really does want United.
“We don’t know for a fact that Sheikh Jassim’s first bid was £4.5bn – we know the Glazers are looking for a figure of around £6bn and I’d be surprised if Sheikh Jassim was willing to go that high.”
Ben Jacobs meanwhile is reporting that Ratcliffe is ‘expected’ to make his second bid ‘next week’ after his ‘productive meeting’ with Man Utd on Friday.
These bids are not being backed by everyone, though. Qatar’s human rights record has raised concerns, while Ratcliffe’s Ineos have been questioned over environmental issues.
Greenpeace now claim that the “bidding process has turned into a dirty derby”.
“It’s worrying that the Man Utd bidding process has turned into a dirty derby between entities linked to fossil fuels,” Areeba Hamid, Greenpeace UK’s co-executive director, told The Mirror.
“Kicked out of museums and art galleries, oil and gas is now invading the world of sport desperately looking for popular brands behind which to hide its climate-wrecking business. The Qatari Islamic Bank gets some of its revenues from oil and gas.
“INEOS is a major producer of plastic, toxic pesticides and fossil fuels, as well as one of the UK’s leading fracking firms. Having already plastered its brand all over cycling, sailing, football, running and rugby, INEOS is the undisputed champion of sportswashing. Whichever way this derby goes, the winner won’t be the climate.”
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