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Football: Sale of Manchester United FC

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

By the deadline of 22 00 GMT on 17 February 2023, there were two rival bids submitted for the purchase of Manchester United FC: one from Sir Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS UK (see earlier Post on the website for details); and the other from Sheik Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani the chairman of the Qatar Bank, QIB.

The Glazer family, who own the famous Club, are looking to sell for around £5 billion. If they do not achieve this sum, there is not likely to be any sale.

The Sheik has been a fan of the club since 1992 when he was ten years old, and his bid is debt free, which will bring a sigh of relief to the supporters of the Club, and he has stated that he will invest in the men’s and women’s teams; the redevelopment of the stadium; the training ground; and the area around Old Trafford. His aim is to restore the Club to its former glory with emphasis on youth and infrastructure.

Whilst no sums for the purchase of the Club have been disclosed, the Sheik’s bid has been described as a “substantial” one.

In view of Qatar’s human rights record and, in particular, the country’s attitude to homosexuality, the Sheik’s bid is expected to give rise to some opposition from the fans, especially amongst the ‘Rainbow Devils’, the LGBT+ supporters of the Club.

It will be very interesting to see how this matter develops!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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