Man Utd takeover blow as Glazer demand risks deal despite bidder being ‘ready’ to close agreement

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd owner Avram Glazer
Avram Glazer attends the FA Cup final.

According to reports, the leading bidders in the race to acquire Manchester United feel that the Glazer family do not want to sell the Premier League club.

It was announced last November that the Glazer family were putting the Premier League giants up for sale and they stated at the time that they would “evaluate all options”.

The Glazer family have received several bids from interested parties this year but Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim and INEOS’ Sir Jim Ratcliffe have emerged as the leading contenders.

Sheikh Jassim has been clear throughout the takeover process that he is only interested in a 100% proposal, but Ratcliffe is willing to keep the current owners on board with a reduced stake of around 20%.

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the takeover in recent weeks. Earlier this week, The Sun claimed that Sheikh Jassim has ‘fought off’ competition from Ratcliffe and he’s now ‘set to complete his full £6billion takeover of Manchester United by mid-October’.

But Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol is reporting that ‘sources close to the Qatari bid believe the process has stalled amid concerns the Glazer family are not sure they want to sell’. The report adds.

‘Sheikh Jassim’s bid team are aware of reports he is close to buying Manchester United, but as far as he is concerned the situation has not changed.

‘Sheikh Jassim is not going away but ultimately it is up to the Glazers to decide if they actually want to sell the club.

‘The longer the process drags on the more it costs the bidders as they all have to pay bankers, advisers and lawyers. However, the bidders are ready to move quickly if the Glazers decide to sell.’

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Solhekol is also of the understanding that the Glazer family “want at least £6bn” and there is the belief that “now is the time to buy and not the time to sell” United.

“A significant number of people involved in the process believe the Glazer family are not all committed to selling the club. Different members of the Glazer family own United and they are not all on the same page,” Solhekol told Sky Sports.

“There have been reports that the Qataris are close to buying Manchester United, they would be delighted if that was the case. But I think, as far as they are concerned, nothing has changed. They are willing buyers but they are not convinced that the Glazers are willing sellers – and to do a deal, you have to have a buyer and a seller.

“The price has to be right for the Glazers to sell and it is generally accepted that they want at least £6 billion. The bidders are willing to overpay to buy a trophy asset like United but they are not going to be taken for fools when it comes to valuation.

“From the Glazer’s point of view, they will also be considering the school of thought in US banking circles at the moment that English clubs are undervalued and now is the time to buy, not the time to sell.”

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