Tuesday, March 28, 2023
HomeSportsMan United takeover: Who are the bidders who want to buy Man...

Man United takeover: Who are the bidders who want to buy Man Utd from the Glazers?

- Advertisement -

For Manchester United fans, 2023 looks set to be a year to celebrate regardless of the team’s efforts on the pitch.

It is widely anticipated that the Glazer family, hated owners of the club since 2005, will sell United in the coming few months.

Last November, the Americans announced that they were pursuing “all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company”. It was the first time they had publicly countenanced selling the club that they took over in a highly controversial leveraged buyout nearly 20 years ago.

Those interested in buying United were given a soft deadline to confirm their plans by February 17. Raine Group, who brokered Todd Boehly’s takeover of Chelsea from Roman Abramovich and are entrusted with the United sale, asked all prospective buyers to submit a one-paragraph bid that included proof of funds.

These are the figures who are thought to be in the running.

MORE: Watch every Premier League match live with fuboTV in Canada

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is from Oldham, a Manchester United supporter and already owns two football clubs in the form of OGC Nice and Lausanne-Sport, as well as Formula 1 team Mercedes, through his company Ineos.

Having expressed interest in buying Chelsea, Ratcliffe was welcomed as a prospective investor by the Manchester United Supporters Trust, and there have even been suggestions F1 great Lewis Hamilton could be involved in the bid. He is one of the few to go public with his interest in buying the Old Trafford club.

Ratcliffe, whose personal fortune exceeded £20 billion three years ago, is said to be working with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs in terms of structuring a proposed takeover package.

Businessman Michael Knighton, who tried to buy Man United in 1989, has also been tipped to form part of a consortium with Ratcliffe.


It has been widely reported in the past week that an investment group from Qatar, likely with links to the Qatari royal family, is prepared to bid for the club.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is a United fan and is speculated to be pushing for an approach through investors.

There is a complication with any Qatari bid: namely, that Qatar Sports Investments already owns Paris Saint-Germain, and UEFA rules would prohibit the same group from owning United should both clubs be in the Champions League. As such, any Qatari consortium bidding for United would need to be able to prove that it was a different entity to QSI.

There is a feeling that the wealth behind any bid from Qatar would dwarf that of almost any other interested party. Indeed, there has been speculation that significant funds would be made available immediately to upgrade Old Trafford, revamp the club’s training facilities, and bolster Erik ten Hag’s first-team men’s squad. Kylian Mbappe has already been linked with the club.

However, there is likely to be at least some opposition from fans towards the idea of Qatari owners given the well-documented concerns about the country’s human rights record, which were widely discussed around the time of the Qatar World Cup last November.

MORE: The best stats and facts from the 2022 World Cup final

Elon Musk

According to the Daily Mail, billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk is keeping abreast of developments with regards to the United takeover.

Musk has tweeted about wanting to buy the club in the past, so fans have taken his expression of interest with a pinch of salt. However, it’s easy to understand the appeal.

Elon Musk

Having bought Twitter for around $44bn, Musk’s personal wealth is said to have plummeted over the past year due to the poor performance of Tesla stock, but he is still estimated to be worth nearly $190bn. Acquiring arguably the world’s most famous sports team would represent an obvious attraction to the SpaceX supremo, who has rarely opted to shun the chance to broaden his public profile.

It has been suggested he could go in with investors from Saudi Arabia to increase the financial power of any takeover bid.

Josh Harris and David Blitzer

Minority shareholders in Premier League club Crystal Palace, Josh Harris and David Blitzer were tipped to launch a United bid back in January.

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment had been among those vying to take over Chelsea from Abramovich and the prospect of becoming United stakeholders would be an appealing one.

However, any bid from Harris and Blitzer is anticipated to be for a minority stake in the club, allowing the Glazers to retain control. Such an arrangement would be deeply unpopular with fans, who want to see the Glazer family relinquish their hold on the club entirely.

Avram Joel Glazer

How much are Manchester United worth?

It was reported by The Independent that the Glazers could look to sell all of their shares for around $6 billion (£4.9bn), although that figure has fluctuated in various reports in recent weeks.

That would far outstrip the figure paid for Chelsea, perhaps accurately reflecting United’s status as England’s most prestigious football club.

It is also likely to price out a number of potential bidders, including many of those involved in the battle to take over at Chelsea over the summer.

Credit: sportingnews.com

- Advertisment -

Most Popular