Man United FC

New Owner Revealed – Glazers Take Big Step Toward Selling Manchester United to Qatari Sheikh

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani could be given exclusive negotiating rights for the Glazers' sale of Manchester United, putting him in pole position to take over the legendary club.

On Thursday, Manchester United fans got a step closer to attaining their long-held ambition of #GlazersOut. According to Reuters, the Premier League football club and the family that has owned a controlling position in the club since 2005 are discussing an exclusive negotiating window for a prospective sale with Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani. If completed, the purchase is likely to be worth more than $6 billion, making it the most expensive franchise sale in pro sports history.

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Though this exclusivity has not been confirmed as of this writing, such a move would make the 44-year-old Qatari billionaire a clear favorite in the battle to acquire one of the world’s most valuable sports franchises.

Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman and CEO of London-based chemical company INEOS Group Limited, has long been mentioned as a possible buyer for Manchester United. According to Reuters, his takeover plan now lacks popularity since he intended for the Glazer family to keep some sort of share in the club, whereas the Sheikh Jassim deal is understood to buy them out altogether.

Who is Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani?

Sheikh Jassim is a prominent member of Qatar’s ruling House of Thani. He is the son of Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who served as the country’s Emir — think “head of state,” but with a touch of monarchy — from 1995 to 2013 before stepping down. Jassim, who was previously the heir apparent to the king, stepped down from the line of succession in 2003.

The Glazer family acquired Manchester United, one of the most popular sports clubs in the world, in 2005, when Malcolm Glazer purchased about 30% of the business for an estimated $1.5 billion. The club won five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one EFL Cup, and a UEFA Champions League title throughout their time.

The “Red Devils” are now estimated to be worth $6 billion, but because so much of the Glazers’ purchasing capital was borrowed, they’ve carried a considerable debt load in the years following.

Sheikh Jassim won’t have that difficulty thanks to the sovereign Qatar Investment Authority and its Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) branch, which also owns French champions Paris Saint-Germain and sports television firm beIN Media Group.

He will never, ever not.

Whether Man United fans will eventually consider his arrival a win is a far more unpleasant topic that we won’t try to answer just yet.

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