The Glazer family could be ready to take Man Utd off the market as they look to make money from the club’s worldwide fanbase, according to reports.
On Sunday it was revealed that bidders, including Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, have moved to the next stage of the process that could lead to a takeover of the Red Devils.
This part will involve access to data room information and give bidders an opportunity to conduct due diligence. It is expected it could be a slow process as bidders pore over the details of the club’s commercial contracts.
However, The Sun claims that Man Utd ‘could be taken off the sales market in a massive U-turn’ with the Glazers instead ‘considering a scheme to make money from the club’s global fanbase and not the football pitch’.
The report adds that ‘it appears that all possible moves are on the table including scrapping the entire process’ but there ‘is little sign that any bidders are coming close to the Glazers’ £6bn valuation of the club’.
There have been rumours that not all Glazer family members agree on the sale but a senior source told The Sun: “The family will act as one. It will either be a full sale or an alternative.”
Sheikh Jassim and Ineos both confirmed their offers to purchase Man Utd from the Glazer family last month and are the only bidders to have gone public.
Sources close to wealthy banker Sheikh Jassim insist he is bidding alone as a private individual, without any direct or indirect support from the Qatari state or the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has expressed concerns around multi-club ownership – Qatar Sports Investments controls Paris St Germain – and around human rights.
Sheikh Jassim has indicated his bid would leave the Old Trafford club debt free.
Ratcliffe, a self-proclaimed United fan, is one of the UK’s wealthiest people with an estimated net worth of £12.5billion following the success of his global chemical company.
A statement from Ineos last month read: “We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community.
“We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again.”
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