Thomas Zilliacus withdraws from bidding process

Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus has withdrawn from the race to buy Manchester United, describing the takeover process as a ‘farce’ as it moved to a third round of bidding.

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe have been the two leading bidders to take the club out of the hands of the Glazer family.

But Zilliacus later also went public with his interest, although he was never seen as a contender in the same way, having called upon the two other parties to unite with him. The Finn, who has done most of his public communicating via Twitter, also planned to give a 50% stake to fan ownership.

This week, bidders were invited by Raine Group, overseeing the potential takeover, to submit third and final offers by the end of April, as 90min explained on Tuesday. There is also a deadline in mid-April for due diligence, which will lead directly onto the expected third bids.

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But the process appears to have been too much for Zilliacus, criticising the delays and tweeting about his general displeasure.

“The bidding is turning into a farce, with Glazers giving no respect to the club,” he said.

“Jim Ratcliffe, Sheikh Jassim and myself all were ready to negotiate a deal to buy United. Instead, Glazers chose to start a new round. I will not participate in a farce set up to maximize the profit for the sellers at the expense of Manchester United.”


On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette discuss Marcus Rashford’s injury and discuss if Anthony Martial or Jadon Sancho can fill the void he leaves.

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