Sheikh Jassim may have fallen behind Sir Jim Ratcliffe in the derby to purchase Manchester United football club, but he remains the favorite of the fan base. Supporters are in favor of the Qatar banker and his consortium taking over because they are the only bidding group who would oust the Glazer family completely.
And as you might have heard, once or twice, the Glazers are pretty unpopular (putting it mildly) among the base.
Ratcliffe however, is willing to let the Glazers stay on, at least for the short term, as they would reportedly retain a 20% ownership share in the club. This stance has helped to position Ratcliffe as the front-runner, and reports indicate that the INEOS founder is now closing in on sealing the deal.
Of course, the deal is done yet, and until it’s closed, anything can happen. Enter Sheikh Jassim, who would need to submit a fourth and much bigger bid, in order to move back to pole position. And that could happen, because according to the Daily Express: “he’s now pondering an 11th hour bid to change everything as the saga continues to rumble on.”
According to multiple reports, the last bid submitted by the Sheikh Jassim group came in at under £5 billion, and that is pretty far off from the Glazers valuation, which is believed to be around £6 billion, or $7.47 billion. This process is also affected by the manhood measuring contest that is the race to set, and later maintain the new world record for a sports club sale.
The current record is now held by the Washington Commanders of the National Football League. This was just announced yesterday, with the final sale price coming in around $6.05 billion (or £4.86 billion), breaking the previous record of $4.65 billion
The Glazers will seek to break that, and to do so by considerable margin, otherwise no sale.
The Express report cites reporter Ben Jacobs, who gave an interview to GiveMeSport, where he claimed Sheikh Jassim remains hard line in his stance- full sale only. Otherwise he is not interested.
“Sheikh Jassim still feels that he’s in the race,” said Jacobs.
“From Ratcliffe’s point of view, he has always held a confidence because he believes his bid plays upon the fact that two of The Glazers, Joel and Avram, want to stay.”
Therein lies the rub- do the Glazers even really want to leave? Have they honestly really even considered that?
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.