Man Utd takeover latest: Third bidder joins process as next stage kicks in over proposed sale

Old Trafford, Man Utd v Brentford May 2022

Bidders including Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani have reportedly moved to the next stage of the process that could lead to a takeover of Manchester United.

This part will involve access to data room information and give bidders an opportunity to conduct due diligence. But it’s expected it could be a slow process as bidders pore over the details of the club’s commercial contracts.

Sheikh Jassim and Ineos both confirmed their offers to purchase United from the Glazer family last month and are the only bidders to have gone public.

Sources close to wealthy banker Sheikh Jassim insist he is bidding alone as a private individual, without any direct or indirect support from the Qatari state or the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.

The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has expressed concerns around multi-club ownership – Qatar Sports Investments controls Paris St Germain – and around human rights.

Sheikh Jassim has indicated his bid would leave the Old Trafford club debt free.

Ratcliffe, a self-proclaimed United fan, is one of the UK’s wealthiest people with an estimated net worth of £12.5billion following the success of his global chemical company.

A statement from Ineos last month read: “We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community.

“We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again.”

Third bidder joins the running

Meanwhile, reports on Sunday revealed that an unnamed third bidder has joined the race to buy the club.

Bidders will meet with Raine Group and visit Old Trafford in the next fortnight, with this latest, under-the-radar bid – believed to be US-based – also on the guest list.

However, there are increasing suggestions that the process may not necessarily amount to a sale. It’s said that two of the Glazer brothers, co-chairmen Joel and Avram, are not interested in selling up.

That stance is largely down to the fact that none of the offers made have reached their £6billion valuation of the club.

READ MORE: Secret bidders, trade-offs and Glazer’s gamesmanship all part of countdown to potential sale