ᑕ❶ᑐ Manchester United sale: Revised offers for the club due on Wednesday evening

ᑕ❶ᑐ Manchester United sale: Revised offers for the club due on Wednesday evening

Sir Jim Ratcliffe: future property visits Manchester United

Prospective Manchester United properties have been told they have until 21:00 GMT on Wednesday to submit a second revised bid for the club as the price-check saga gathers pace.

The stringency of this deadline and whether other emerging bidders are unclear.

But BBC Sport has learned that United officials recently met with eight different potential investors during a 10-day period of high-level meetings, and there is confidence that several could make formal offers.

This could mean that a « preferred bidder » is declared by Raine – the investment bank responsible for the sale – very soon, granting him exclusive rights over the more thorough due diligence process that would take place.

This means that the only two publicly declared bids – Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim and Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe – will have only had a few days to review the data and information they uncovered over the week. last during visits to Old Trafford and the club’s Carrington training complex.

Both sides have reportedly had positive meetings with United officials and both remain committed to a takeover and are expected to make improved and more detailed offers.

But while the amount the two have offered so far has not been disclosed (both reports being in the range of 4.5 billion euros), they are clearly well below the valuation of 5 at 6 billion euros that the American owners of the club – the Glazers – have established. .

Ineos want to buy Glazer’s combined shareholding of around 69%, while the Qataris are targeting 100% of the club.

The next key question is whether they – or any other potential bidders – are able to submit an offer that persuades the Glazers to sell. If not, and with United’s fortunes seen to have improved in recent months under Erik ten Hag, the Americans may well decide to keep the club and perhaps consider selling instead. a minority US hedge fund stake in Elliott Investment Management.

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Very interestingly, in an interview published with the Wall St Journal, which was done before the summer season visit to Old Trafford, Ratcliffe said: « What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because you regret it later,” a clear signal that he is determined not to pay too much for the club he says he supported as a boy growing up in Manchester.

He also said his interest in the club would be « purely to win things », calling the club a « community asset », not financial.

Ratcliffe and his advisers hope those sentiments, and his presence in person on Friday when he visited United where he met Ten Hag, will persuade fans of his intention to be a visible and engaged presence who has the interests of the club at heart. Ratcliffe was also accompanied by his team of sporting ‘experts’, including Ineos sporting director – former Team Sky cycling chief – Sir Dave Brailsford.

But as the process reaches a critical stage, the scrutiny of these two potential owners is also intensifying. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace called the bidding war a « dirty derby of ‘sportswashing’ between fossil fuel-related entities ». He points to the fact that Ineos is a major producer of plastics and supports fracking, and that the Qatari supply has been partly financed by oil and gas in one of the world’s largest fossil fuel economies.

Both bidders not ‘sportswashing’ suggestions, indicate that a deep affection for the club lies behind their takeover attempts. The Qataris have also tried to emphasize that their candidacy will not be finished and come from an individual, separate from the government. But critics also say that as a member of the country’s ruling family and son of the former prime minister, Sheikh Jassim’s candidacy is in fact an attempt at state power. The risk, they say, is that United will then be used to help deflect attention from the country’s human rights record and discriminatory laws, ordered in geopolitics and foreign policy.

Both bids must also satisfy concerns over links with other European (Site notre bureau spécialisé) clubs, with Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) owning French club Paris St Germain, and Ineos already owning Nice and Lausanne.

According to number of United fans, the simplest thing about the end of the rainy day was the extreme controversy of 18-year-old Glazer.