Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani both have ‘scepticism’ over whether or not the Glazer family are willing to agree the full sale of Man Utd.
The Glazers announced in November 2022 they would explore the possibility of a sale, with American merchant bankers Raine overseeing the process.
February 18 was a soft deadline for interested parties to get their bids in and boyhood Man Utd fans Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim did just that.
As the process goes on, fans are growing anxious that the Glazers have pulled their pants down and are not actually intending to sell the club.
Avram Glazer was present at Wembley on Sunday as the Red Devils won the Carabao Cup, which has spread more fears the club will not be sold.
The vast, and I mean vast, majority of Man Utd supporters want to see the back of the Glazers, though the jury is out on whether or not they would be pleased to see a Qatari own the club.
Ben Jacobs has provided a big update on the whole situation. Writing for CaughtOffside, the journalist claimed there is ‘no guarantee’ the Glazers will leave.
Of course, the Raine Group are ‘exploring all options’, not just an outright sale of the club.
Jacobs emphasises how important it is that Man Utd are owner by the Glazers, and not just a Glazer. The whole family are not in agreement that they want to sell.
‘Avram and Joel are still attached to the club’, while Kevin, Edward, Bryan and Darcie would be happy to get out and ‘cash in on their stakes’.
While the media are understandably focusing on Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim, there are ‘private investors looking at minority stakes’.
The Qatari Sheikh sees his bid to buy the club as an “all or nothing” situation and will not revert to a minority investment, nor a ‘laddered’ route to becoming the full owner.
Ratcliffe is more flexible, it is claimed. The Brit sees the chance to own Man Utd as something that could ‘shape his legacy’.
The 70-year-old is ‘open’ to working alongside the Glazers or partnering with another group in his bid for ‘visible and operational control’.
He is prioritising full ownership, but is reluctant to leave ’empty handed’, though as mentioned prior, he is a lot more flexible than Sheikh Jassim.
Both have ‘scepticism’, however, over whether or not the Glazer family are open to an ‘outright sale’.
The Glazers feel ‘underwhelmed’ by the bids as things stand. They could still push for £6billion or more despite no group being close to paying £5bn, Jacobs adds.
While they do feel underwhelmed, the soft deadline was there for bidders to get through to the next stage, it was far from their final offers.
After more due diligence, a true valuation can be established and it is said that the Glazers’ valuation is ‘simply unrealistically high’.
Sheikh Jassim has confidence in his opening offer considering the club’s debt and the work needing to be done on Old Trafford and Carrington.
A ‘priority’ for both the Qatari and Ratcliffe is to get Marcus Rashford to extend his contract, should they take charge.
Even with Man Utd doing well on the pitch, the Glazers will receive an incredible amount of fan backlash should they not sell the club.
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Sky Sports reported on Tuesday that Avram’s presence at Wembley on Sunday “fed growing fears the club will not be sold outright”.
The Glazers have apparently misread the market in their valuation. This is according to Sky correspondent Melissa Reddy.
She said: “They were expecting a greater uptake [for the sale of Man Utd] – we know there are only two public bidders, neither of them have got close to the £6bn valuation the Glazers want.
“They feel that the club when you look at the potential for commercial growth, how they factor in emerging markets and just what a massive sporting asset this is.
“It doesn’t matter how much debt the club has, it doesn’t matter how much the infrastructure is going to cost, it doesn’t matter how much they owe in transfer fees. The Glazers believe you should be puffing your chest out to own Man Utd and if you take it from them you’ve got to put the money down.
“At the moment, it seems like they’re very, very reluctant to part with the club especially if they don’t get anywhere close to their valuation.
“I think they misread the market. Liverpool’s owners, FSG, had the same thing. They looked at Chelsea, whose sale was completely different, there were sanctions imposed and it needed to be a quick-fire sale.
“The scale of interest told Man Utd and Liverpool owners that there would be greater interest because they are two bigger clubs, but that hasn’t really been the case. There are few things bubbling underneath that show we might be getting too excited about a Man Utd takeover.”
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