The battle to buy Manchester United heated up on Wednesday of the Qatari bank Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani came back with a second bid for the British giants.
British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is also expected to make a second bid for the 20-time English champion.
Raine, the commercial bank brought in to help sell the club, set a deadline of 2100GMT on Wednesday for interested parties to present their offers.
But Sky Sports reported that the deadline had been pushed back to allow the proposals to be adjusted.
The owners of United, the Glazer family, has reportedly set a world record £6 billion ($7.3 billion) price tag for a sports club.
Sheikh Jassim’s bid for 100 percent control of the club promises to wipe out United’s $620 million debt and invest in a new stadium and training ground, in addition to support for the men’s and women’s teams. .
A source close to Sheikh Jassim’s request told AFP that he remains confident that his offer is “best for the club, the fans and the local community.”
The founder of chemical company INEOS Ratcliffe, a United fan, has been more circumspect in his assessment, saying he will not pay a “stupid” price to fight for one of the most famous football clubs.
“How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to the cost to build or how much it costs to paint. ,” Ratcliffe told the Wall Street Journal this week.
“What you don’t want to do is pay ridiculous prices for things you won’t regret later.”
Ratcliffe, who wants the 69 per cent stake owned by the Glazer family, said his interest in United would be “purely about winning things”, calling the club a “community assets”.
Unsatisfied with supporters since they plunged the club into debt in a £790 million leveraged takeover in 2005, the Glazers looked set to cash in on a huge profit when they called for investment in out in November.
However, they can still reject the option of selling a controlling share in the club and other parties interested in a minority.
Initial offers from the first round of tenders last month were believed to be around £4.5 billion.
That would surpass the Premier League record of £2.5 billion paid for Chelsea last year by a consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake. Capital, with another £ 1.75 billion promised in investments in infrastructure and players.
United’s bidders are expected to hear back next week, and another round of bidding is ongoing.
If one bid is better than the others, it can be chosen to enter a period of specialization, which can be renegotiated before the final sale.
Ratcliffe visited Old Trafford last Friday with INEOS representatives, a day after Sheikh Jassim’s delegation toured the club’s stadium and training ground for the do some discussion as part of their due diligence.
Just a few months after hosting the 2022 World Cup, a successful Qatari bid will give the Gulf state pride of place in the Premier League – the country’s best domestic competition. and the world will see it.
But it will also be controversial.
Sheikh Jassim is the son of the former Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and his close ties to the administration of the Gulf state will raise questions about the another Premier League club with a state-sponsored project.
The Premier League champions Manchester City have changed fortunes since the removal of Sheikh Mansour, a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi in 2008.
In 2021, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund bought a controlling stake in Newcastle.
Amnesty International has called on the Premier League to strengthen the rules of ownership to ensure that “it is not an opportunity for more games.”
United, three-time European champions, have not won the Premier League since the legendary Alex Ferguson led them to a 20th English title in his final season before retiring in 2013.
But they are enjoying a revival under Erik ten Hag this season and ended a six-year drought by lifting the League title last month.