Man Utd takeover: Sheikh Jassim offers Glazers sweetener in bid to beat Ratcliffe, Zilliacus

Will Ford
Qatar's Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has tabled his bid to buy Manchester United.
Qatar's Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has pulled out of the race to buy Manchester United.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has reportedly added a sweetener in his bid to persuade the Glazer family to sell Manchester United to him.

Sheikh Jassim, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a former Qatari prime minister, placed his second-round offer to buy United on Friday night.

A source close to the bid say the Qataris remain confident of completing a takeover despite rival interest from Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus.

No figures have been revealed, but one or more of the initial bids were reportedly in the region of £4.5billion, and Sheikj Jassim’s second bid is rumoured to have met the Glazers’ £6bn asking price.

And yet, the Qatari royal family member is said to have offered a further carrot in a bid to secure United, according to The Sun.

It’s claimed the sheikh ‘discussed a joint venture with the Glazers which could see NFL games in the Middle East’.

The Glazers, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have tried to grow the NFL’s global audience in recent years, sending teams to London to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

And Sheikh Jassim believes offering the Middle East as another potential location could give him the upper hand in negotiations.

A source said: “Sheikh Jassim has been very clear he wants to buy the club and has the money to do so.

“He has been impressed with the Glazers and would like to work with them in the future.

“Part of his proposal has been that the Glazers could bring their NFL team to Qatar for an exhibition game in the national stadium in Doha.

“This would help cement Qatar’s stature as a destination for sporting spectacles and offer the Glazers a chance to spread their NFL brand and cash in.

“Sheikh Jassim has offered to insert a clause in any takeover deal guaranteeing this and it appeals to the Glazers.”

In January the NFL announced that the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots will play games in England and Germany.

NFL executive vice-president Peter O’Reilly said: “Growing the league and our sport internationally is a major strategic priority for the NFL, and we are excited to again be playing five games outside of the US in 2023.”

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