Manchester United recently enjoyed a 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Fulham on Sunday. They have already reached the Europa League quarter-final where they will face Sevilla next month and will prepare to take on Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals.
So while Manchester United fans are now able to concentrate on the success that they are enjoying under Erik ten Hag, they are also continuing to get their wish of a full sale of the football club. The Glazer family put the Red Devils up for sale in November and while the deadline had initially been scheduled for Wednesday 9pm, a chaotic evening has meant bidders have been granted an extension in order to get their offers in.
The Glazers previously placed a whopping £5-6 billion valuation on the football club that they purchased fully 18 years ago, though there is yet to be a bid made that matches that price tag. However, the revised offers are expected to be closer to the valuation and could see the American owners move one step closer to departing Old Trafford after years of protests against their presence.
When is the deadline?
Prospective owners were told they had until 9pm Wednesday 22nd March to submit their second, revised bids for the club. However, neither Sir Jim Ratcliffe or Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim had submitted their proposed bids in time and it is not yet known when the new deadline is. Someone close to the talks told the BBC that the situation is “live and fast moving” but sources insist that both Sheikh Jassim and Ineos are committed to making second bids.
According to reports, the club officials have met eight different potential investors over a 10-day period, though that of Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim and Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe remain the only publicly-declared bids on the table.
Sheikh Jassim’s world-record bid
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani will make a staggering £5.5 billion bid to blow his rivals out of the race, according to the Mirror. Both the Qatari and Sir Jim Ratcliffe were thought to have previously bid around the £4.5bn mark - well short of the Glazer’s valuation. On announcing his bid, the son of a former Qatari prime minister said the offer: “plans to return the club to its former glories.”
While Ratcliffe has also increased his bid to take over United, it is expected that Sheikh Jassim’s offer is much higher and could potentially see him secure the sale. Representatives of Sheikh Jassim visited Old Trafford and the Red Devils’ training ground last Thursday, while Ratcliffe’s team were also present on the same day.
Ratcliffe previously told the Wall Street Journal that he was unwilling to pay over the odds for the club, stating: “What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”
With his opponent set to almost match the £6bn bid, it may force the British billionaire to step down from the race. Once each party has submitted their revised bid, US investment bank Raine are expected to identify a preferred bidder. The chosen candidate will then be given further access to more club documents ahead of a proposed sale with the Glazer family.
Ratcliffe’s ‘new strategy’
With Sir Jim Ratcliffe looking way behind in the bidding war for Manchester United, reports have claimed that the 70-year-old Ineos owner could consider teaming up with another party to match Sheikh Jassim’s £5.5bn bid. The Red Devils are holding out for their £6bn price tag, though Ratcliffe knows he can only reach that valuation with more financial help.
The Daily Mail have reported that Ratcliffe could link up with another party that are in the running ahead of tonight’s deadline, with US hedge fund Elliott Management already revealing that they are open to financing a takeover, while Bloomberg previously reported that Radcliffe had lined up banks including Goldman Sachs to benefit his bid.
While Ratcliffe is eager to avoid overpaying for the club, the Oldham-born mogul is very eager to complete a takeover of the football club that he has supported since he was a child. However, he is also believed to be a former Chelsea season ticket holder as he resides further south in Hampshire.