Man Utd takeover: Barcelona boss Xavi gives backing to mega Qatari bid – ‘He’s a serious man’
Barcelona boss Xavi has given his backing to Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s bid to buy Manchester United ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League showdown between the clubs.
A Qatari bid fronted by Sheikh Jassim is one of two stand-out proposals received by investment bank Raine Group, with INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe the other early favourite to buy the Old Trafford club.
There have been other offers, with US hedge fund Elliot Management lodging a proposal for potential financing. But it’s now up to Raine to assess the offers over the coming weeks.
As it stands, the Qatari offer would be entirely debt free and Sheikh Jassim has promised to reinvest all profits back into the club, and also the local community.
Xavi knows Qatar well having spent six years in the country as both a player and then coach of Al Sadd. The 43-year-old has also had various ambassadorial roles.
The Barca boss is preparing to go head-to-head with United in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round tie, with the tie delicately poised at 2-2.
And when asked by a Spanish journalist about the possibility of United soon being taken over by Qatari ownership at his press conference ahead of the game, Xavi replied: “It’s the law of economics, supply and demand.
“I have a good relationship with the Sheikh. He’s a serious man, a responsible person, and I’m sure he would do a good job.”
Later in the press conference, Xavi was asked further about his relationship with Sheikh Jassim, adding: “Yes, I know him so well. I think he’s a very good person with responsibilities, serious.
“I think he would be a very good option for United.”
But when asked how he knows the Sheikh so well, Xavi replied sharply: “Because I worked in Qatar for six years.”#
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Qatari bid still a controversial one
The Qatari bid is not without its criticism though, with Rainbow Devils, United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters group, releasing a statement saying they had ‘deep concerns’ over the bid.
The report from Metro also claims it could also prove difficult to separate Sheikh Jassim and his backers from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which already owns Paris Saint-Germain.
Sheikh Jassim has already revealed his plans for the club, revealing shortly before Friday’s soft deadline for offers to be made: “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 the 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.”
All attention now turns to the Raine Group as they deliberate the offers.
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