enter image description here
Now Qatar will put pressure on UEFA

Manchester United in search of a new owner: The Glazer family, who have been managing the club since 2005, announced last fall that they were considering "strategic alternatives" for development. For Manchester United, this means either attracting additional investment or a complete sale of assets. Now everything is moving towards the second option - applications are already being collected for the purchase of club shares, the selection and consideration of which is carried out by the same investment bank that participated in the takeover of Chelsea by Todd Bowley's concern. So far, RainGroup has received the only official application - billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, who has been a fan of Manchester United since childhood, has entered the fight for the club (which did not stop him from trying to acquire Chelsea and Newcastle).

News broke this week that Qatari investors are among the contenders for United shares: Qatar does not hide the fact that they plan to invest more in sports, relying on the success of the World Cup. For human rights organizations that have been trying to draw attention to the problems in Qatar during the 12 years that the country has been preparing for the World Cup, this desire hides the true motives - whitewashing the image in the eyes of the world community. Either way, the royal family-linked foundation is expected to file its application with the RainGroup soon. Investors only have a little time to think - they plan to complete the reception by the end of next week.

Who exactly is going to buy Manchester United, and why can PSG prevent this

Qatar has the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) - the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. QIA was established in 2005 "to protect and enhance the country's financial assets, as well as to diversify the economy." The fund's portfolio spans multiple markets, economic sectors, and asset classes, allowing the country to participate indirectly in other forms of business in other countries. It is this fund that United is going to buy: £ 4.5 billion is being offered for the club, although the Glazers want more than £ 6 billion for it. In Qatar, this amount is considered unrealistic, because Manchester United still has a stadium that needs either reconstruction or complete demolition and building a new one from scratch - such a project could cost about £ 2 billion.
enter image description here
QIA has a subsidiary, Qatar Sports Investment, which acquired PSG in 2011. These are not all of its sports assets: in October last year, QSI acquired a minority stake in Braga; since the winter of 2022, the organization has been sponsoring the International Padel Federation, and since 2007 it has been managing the sportswear brand Burrda Sport. The president of QSI is Nasser Al-Khelaifi; he is also on the board of directors of QIA and is the chief executive officer of PSG.

And here comes the conflict: if QIA acquires Manchester United, then something will have to be done with French assets since UEFA rules prohibit clubs playing in the same competition under the organization's auspices to have one owner.

The Emir of Qatar is confident that it is possible to own two clubs. Well, you have to find a solution to make it possible

In Qatar, even though they are trying to prove that QIA and QSI have different owners, they understand that quite reasonable questions may arise from UEFA. Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's strategy is to try to acquire Manchester United while keeping PSG: it is planned that the clubs will be managed by different organizations - for this, they will create a separate structure. There is already a precedent: Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig are formally governed by other owners, although they ultimately belong to the same company - Red Bull GmbH. That has yet to stop them from meeting in European competition, and Qatar has that in mind. Another solution is to put pressure on UEFA and ask either to adjust the rules or make an exception.

Al Thani is not the first time trying to buy the club: in 2011, he already made an offer to the Glazers, but the brothers said the club was not for sale. Emir is reportedly a big fan of Manchester United, so he is ready to invest in the club, developing it as a new sports project.
enter image description here
Why does Qatar want Manchester United? There are different versions, but globally their interest is clear - the influence

In January, Qatari sovereign wealth fund CEO Mansour Al Mahmoud said in an interview with Bloomberg that he would use the current global economic turmoil as an opportunity to balance his portfolio of assets. The fund considers investments in financial institutions, fintech, and football in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Now the total capital of QIA is estimated at $ 450 billion.

"Digitalization is now an essential part of football, so the business model is becoming very commercialized and attractive for investment," he explained. You won't be surprised if we invest in it. We have yet to decide, but it's a commercially attractive investment. And again, sport is becoming a critical topic: people are doing it more, and digitalization is making it more attractive to investors."

For Qatar, globally, investing in football goes beyond "attractive investment" - this is a politically and strategically important moment in the country's development. The main thing is the expansion of international influence: for the same reason, Qatar fought for the hosting of the World Cup because sport gives much more recognition than oil sales. Especially if you own a club playing in the richest league in the world: here, you can promote the country and earn respect through investments and victories. The second reason is dependence on natural resources, which will only last for a while. Through the fund, the country actively invests in various sectors of the economy to reduce reliance on gas and oil and develop tourism to earn more.

Qatar does not hide the fact that it wants to diversify its budget and expand its influence. But in the eyes of human rights organizations, everything Qatar does in sports is only washing away its image, tarnished by human rights violations and attitudes towards the LGBT community.
enter image description here
Amnesty International, which has been actively investigating the incidents in Qatar, recently said the Premier League would "goof off" if it allowed another takeover by investors from the Middle East. The organization called for change: "The Premier League must urgently tighten ownership rules so that owners respect human rights and not get the opportunity for another laundering through sports."

It is unlikely that their statements will somehow affect the Premier League - before buying, all potential owners pass a mandatory test of the owners of directors, on which the "admission" to the purchase depends. In the case of Newcastle, however, the Premier League was waiting for evidence that the country (i.e., Saudi Arabia, whose state fund owns the club) would not influence decisions. Perhaps this time, the league will be more interested in legal issues than ethical ones.