Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani has submitted a fresh bid to buy English Premier League football club Manchester United.
The son of Qatar’s former prime minister and head of Qatar Islamic Bank made the new, improved offer after requesting a deadline extension on Wednesday, which has since been granted.
In doing so, Jassim hopes to complete the takeover, despite British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s own revised offer and one placed by Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus.
Jassim’s earlier, debt-free proposal was made last month during the first round of bidding, which was reported previously to have been worth around $6.12 billion, although no financial details have been confirmed.
If the bid is successful, it would make the acquisition of Manchester United, a club which has not won the Premier League since 2013, the most expensive sports team takeover in history.
The Qatari sheikh was one of eight separate potential investors in the club. He has insisted that his interest is private and not related to the state, and that it will be funded through his Nine Two Foundation.
His representatives visited Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium last week for talks.
A statement by the foundation said it aims to restore the club to its former glories while a source familiar with the bid had earlier told AFP that Jassim remains confident that his bid is the best for the club, fans and local community.
The current owners of Manchester United, US businessmen the Glazer brothers, announced last year that they were looking for strategic alternatives which could include selling the Premier League club outright.
According to Sky Sports, the owners are looking for a price upwards of $7 billion.
The potential takeover has fans of the Red Devils divided, with some expressing concerns over human rights issues and sport-swashing, while others are hopeful that much needed funds could turn the fortunes around for England’s most successful Premier League team.
Despite its record number of successes on the pitch in the past, Manchester United has been overshadowed in recent years by rivals and reigning champions Manchester City FC, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, a member of the UAE ruling family.
Middle East Monitor / ABC Flash Point News 2023.