Man Utd takeover: Ratcliffe ‘modifying’ bid to ‘allay fears’ in race to beat Qatar in Glazers stalemate

Jason Soutar
Manchester United protest against the Glazers' ownership.
Manchester United protest against the Glazers' ownership.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe will ‘restructure’ his offer to buy Manchester United from the Glazers, according to reports.

The Glazer family put the Red Devils up for sale last November and although everyone is aware it is not simple to sell the biggest club in England, we expected to be further along in the process than we are ten months later.

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim and British billionaire Ratcliffe have been leading the race to buy the Premier League club after the Glazers said they would “evaluate all options”, though it remains to be seen whether or not they are willing to sanction a full sale.

This has sparked fear that the current owners are not seriously considering departing Old Trafford, despite being public enemy number one in Manchester.

Both prospective buyers claim to be boyhood United fans and INEOS chairman and CEO Ratcliffe is also the owner of French outfit OGC Nice and Swiss Super League side Lausanne-Sport.

Jassim and Ratcliffe’s bids are structured differently, but both have offered the Glazers around £5billion, with the owners reportedly wanting £6bn.

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A recent report from Bloomberg claimed Ratcliffe is preparing to restructure his offer as he looks to break the deadlock with the Glazers.

And the Mirror came out with a similar report on Tuesday evening.

Having put an offer to buy 69 per cent of the club on the table earlier this year, Ratcliffe ‘is prepared to modify his bid to allay any fears held by those who would hold the remaining 31 per cent of United’.

A remodelled bid would be Ratcliffe’s sixth attempt to convince the Glazers to sell. The 70-year-old’s previous terms would have allowed the American family to remain minority investors.

Speaking in July, the INEOS founder said he was happy with the “good offer” put on the table.

“We have met with the Glazers a couple of times,” Ratcliffe said. “We have had good discussions with them.

“We would still very much like to do it. And we would be doing it for the right reasons. But in the end it is their decision not our decision.

“Teams don’t come around very often. There are some special teams and the value of them tends to go up. The value of teams like this one is very special and rare – like art.

“I don’t think the world of sport will change that much in 10 years.”

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