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Qatari Devils?

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Manchester United fans should remember the name Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.

That’s because the Red Devils received a second takeover offer before the soft deadline passed and it came from the Qatari banker. The chairman of Qatari bank QIB submitted a bid for the Old Trafford giants ahead of the deadline set by The Glazers. He is set to battle it out with Sir Jim Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men, after the INEOS owner also lodged an offer.

The Qatari banker said it would “place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club once more.” United supporters have been vocal in their protests against current owners the Glazers. A whopping £ 33.6 million in dividends was paid to Red Devils shareholders last year, despite the club finishing with its worst ever Premier League points tally.


Who is Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani

Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani is currently the chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank. Besides being a lifelong Manchester United fan. Also, he completed his formal education at the prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the UK. He’s also a former board member of the Credit Suisse Group. QIB boasts headquarters across the world including one in the UK.  He is also a member of the Qatari royal family. Forbes magazine estimates he has a net worth of $1.3bn (£1.08bn).

His father, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, served as Qatar’s prime minister between 2007 and 2013. The politician is also involved in the running of Paris Saint-Germain, which could cause a conflict of interest between United and the French giants.

A statement released to broadcast and written media on Friday night read: “Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 per cent of Manchester United Football Club. The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch and – above all – will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club once more.

“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience, and communities the club supports.

“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.”


Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s Manchester United takeover

The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation. Which will look to invest in the football teams, the training Centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure. Also the fan experience and the communities the club supports. According to reports, Qatar Islamic Bank’s assets last FY: were £42 Billion income of £2 Billion.

As for Al Thani’s offer to buy United, according to reports, at this stage, understands that current bids are only indicative and once bidders reach the next stage of the process they will enter a ‘data room’ where potential purchasers will be able to see the relevant financial information. This is the point where everyone will have to submit their bids, once they understand the value of assets and debts. Bankers Raine Group, who handled the sale of Chelsea Football Club, have also been hired by the Glazer Family to handle the sale process.

It is important to note Ratcliffe’s INEOS company also owns French side Nice and Swiss outfit Lausanne. It is unclear whether he would need to sell those assets to buy United. Multi-club ownership is common, but UEFA see it as a “threat” to European competitions.

Furthermore, the Glazers may change their mind about a full sale and could flog just a fraction of their shares. They promised to “consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club” when their intention to sell was announced last November.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s net worth

It has been claimed in Qatar that Al Thani’s bid to oust the Glazers exceeds €5billion, meaning United would be the subject of the most expensive takeover deal involving a sports club in history. It has, of course, sparked questions among United’s supporters about how much the Qatari banker could be worth.

Part of Qatar’s ruling royal family, it is claimed that they have a collective net worth estimated to be around $ 335 billion (£275bn). The head of the royal family – Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – is estimated to be worth around $2bn (£1.6bn) just on his own.

Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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