The first round of negotiations is already at night. Who are the competitors of the sheiks?
On the night of February 17-18, the investment company Raine Group, engaged in the sale of Manchester United, will complete the acceptance of initial applications for the purchase of the club. All interested persons need only send an official letter to the post office with the indicated amount and confirmation of the possibilities for payment. The Glazer family has made their wishes clear: they want about £5bn for their asset (with a value of £2.9bn on the New York Stock Exchange). The deal could be the largest in the history of the sport. After all, Chelsea paid "only" £2.5bn, and Newcastle got a ridiculous £3.75 bn. Can Manchester United break the record? Sky Sports informs that at the first stage of negotiations, no one will offer the amount requested by the owners. But this is only the first stage.
The leading candidates are Qatari investors close to the royal family. It is known that Emir Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani is a big Manchester United fan. This is not surprising because he received his education in the early 2000s in England. Bloomberg reported that their first offer could already be £5bn. However, Sky Sports denied this. According to them, the Qataris will not be led by the Glazers and overpay for the club. So the whole procedure will take place in market competition.
At the same time, Qatari investors have a global plan: they are going not only to return the club to its former glory (all candidates, of course, aim at this) but also to invest significant funds in the city. Including the infrastructure of the club. For example, to update the stadium and the training base, which Cristiano Ronaldo scolded not so long ago.
Another critical point: UEFA is globally open to the fact that Qatari funds close to the emir will have two significant European projects. After all, their money is already circulating in PSG. According to the Daily Mail, no conflicts of interest. How amazing.
The remaining applications still need to be listed. But insiders expect three or four big players and a few minor ones. The Telegraph reported that Saudi Arabia had entered the race. A consortium of several companies represents the country. Sky Sports adds: Financially, the Saudis are strong. Only they and the Qataris will be ready to pay the entire amount at once without using borrowed money. And this puts them among the favorites of the race.
Jim Ratcliffe is also among the contenders - the same petrochemical billionaire who has been trying to buy something in England for several years at least. He talks about decent capital and support for American banks, but he constantly loses. This time he has traditional advantages - a long-standing sympathy for Manchester United, a British origin, and a guide to tradition. But everyone understands that this is unlikely to excite the Glazers. Tradition does not equal money.
Also, in England, expect surprises. For example, an unexpected offer from Elon Musk, who is a fan of Manchester United. He recently joked on social media that he would consider buying the club. The American has enough money for that.
Let's wait a little more. Everything will be resolved soon.