The Manchester United Football Club takeover saga is certainly a paradox and contradiction. As tedious and protracted as it is for the big picture, we continue to have numerous plot twists along the way. Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani has now provided another one. We learned earlier this week that his fifth bid, of no more than £6 billion for MUFC, would be his final one.
The Qatari investment banker also imposed a deadline with his bid, telling the Glazers they needed to answer him by Friday- i.e. today.
According to The Guardian: “It has now emerged that this will not be the case.” Yes, Sheik Jassim has made u-turn from his hard line stance on Wednesday. Meanwhile The Mirror reports that the Qatari bid: “will remain on the table even if the Glazers miss Friday’s deadline.”
It is getting to be pretty late now, in Europe and the Middle East, on this Friday/deadline day. Thus it might not be too much of a reach to assume that the Glazers didn’t respond to Sheikh Jassim yet.
This isn’t the first time, during this prolonged bidding process that we’ve seen the Qatari-led bid change their stance on this.
His fourth bid, back in mid-May, was supposedly going to be his last offer. And every time he submits a bid, the amount increases. Sheikh Jassim and his group just do not want to lose out to their rivals, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS.
Call it “an evolution” from the position they held on Wednesday.
This bidding war obviously works to the favor of the Glazers. There is even one theory out there that the Glazers are just using Ratcliffe as leverage to drive the price up on Sheikh Jassim. As polarizing as the Glazers are, and deservedly so, this is just business.
And to many, especially up at this highest of levels, where the monetary amounts are astronomical, business is war. It’s an awful truth, but truth nonetheless. So much so that this bidding process might have to be decided in court.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.