Third round of bidding for Manchester United Football Club

Content Team 1 year ago
Third round of bidding for Manchester United Football Club

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and UK billionaire businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe are still hoping to take control of Manchester United Football Club.  The third round of bidding took place this week. No public comments have been made and the amounts have not been disclosed. However the estimated price is expected to be in the region of US $6 billion.

Awaiting anxiously for the outcome

Earlier this year, the current owners invited offers to divest the premier league club. There was interest from a number of parties to start with but eventually the bidders were narrowed down to two.

Fans are demanding that the club is returned to its former glory – both on and off the pitch. The new owners will be expected to invest heavily in te team this year. One of the first initiatives will be to  find a top tier centre forward to replace Cristiano Ronaldo who departed earlier this season. Supporters are also proposing projects for the redevelopment of Old Trafford. They also expected  new training facilities that will bring the total cost to over US $1 billion.

The current owners are the Glazer family. It is rumoured that the family may decide to remain in control of Manchester United. Although merchant bank Raine Group is advising on the sale and possible strategic alternatives for the divestment, there is a possibility that the Glazers will opt to keep a minority shareholding.

All stakeholders are currently waiting for the outcome to the bidding process.

Malcolm Glazer bought Manchester in 2005

Ever since Malcolm Glazer bought Manchester United in 2005 for US $1.4 billion, the club’s fans have been campaigning to drive the family out. During these years, the success of the team has been in decline. They were also angered by the leveraged deal that brought on bigger debt to the club. In fact supporters are eagerly waiting to celebrate the new ownership of the club once the sale is complete.

US born Malcolm Glazer was the son of Lithuanian immigrants. His father ran a watch repair business in East Side New York and Malcom started to sell watches door-to-door when his father passed away and he was only 15.

By the time he was 20 he owned a successful watch business and he went on to invest in trailer parks and nursing homes. Malcolm’s strategy was to go after acquisitions that would enrich his expanding business portfolio.


Malcolm Glazer used the same approach when he bought Manchester Football Club. He was neither a fan of the club nor passionate about football but he identified the club as good value to maximise a return on this investment. After he suffered a series of strokes in 2006, his sons took over the running of his massive empire. They also own NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After Glazer suffered a series of strokes in 2006, his sons took over the running of his massive empire. He passed away in 2014. He was described by many who knew him as completely “ruthless”.

The size of the bids from Ratcliffe and Al Thani are unkown, but it is estimated the price could be around US $6 billion if a full sale goes through.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe is chairman and CEO of INEOS Chemicals Group which he established in 1998. He was born in Manchester and has been a fan of the club since his childhood. After working in the City and a few years heading Courtaulds plc, he started to build his own empire. His company is estimated to have a turnover of over US $70 billion.

Although he was named by The Sunday Times to be the richest person in the UK in 2018, he maintains a very low profile. His net worth is estimated at around US $30 billion which makes him one of the richest people globally. He resides in Monaco. His brother Bob Ratcliffe heads the football division at INEOS.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the second son of former Qatar prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani also known as HBJ. According to Forbes, his father’s wealth is recorded at US $1.3 billion, however in Doha it is rumoured that he is much wealthier than this. Sheikh Jassim was educated in the UK. He attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst and the International College of Sherborne School in Dorset.

He joined Credit Suisse in 2010 when he was 28. At the time he represented the interests of Qatari investors in the Swiss bank. Qatari had invested billions in the Swiss bank. He managed Mirqab Capital’s portfolio of family investments and the roles he holds now include chair of QInvest and Qatar Islamic Bank of which he is a majority shareholder.


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