Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber Al Thani, the chairman of one of Qatar’s biggest banks – Qatar Islamic Bank, has confirmed he has submitted a bid to takeover Manchester United. Potential buyers were asked to table their proposals by 10pm on Friday’s for the club’s soft deadline.
A statement confirming the bid from Al Thani said: “Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 per cent of Manchester United Football Club.
“The bid plans to return the Club to its former glories both on and off the pitch, and — above all — will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club once more.
The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the Club supports.
“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.”
Al Thani – the son of former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, also known as HBJ – becomes the second party to formally declare his interest in purchasing United following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s January confirmation. The club was put up for sale in November with the board stating it was to “explore strategic alternatives”.
US bankers The Raine Group have been drafted in to help with the process having played an integral role in Chelsea’s sale to American businessman Todd Boehly last year. Reports this week suggested that a bid from Qatar backers could be tabled to the Glazers.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has been linked with a United takeover interest. The firm is state-backed, albeit is a separate entity to Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which owns Paris Saint-Germain and is a subsidiary to the QIA.
PSG and QSI chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi, however, does sit on the QIA board. He is also chair of the European Club Association.
Uefa rules state that clubs which have the same owner cannot enter the same continental competitions. It’s unclear whether it would deem United as having the same owner as PSG should a QIA takeover occur.