Manchester United sale: Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS submit revised bid

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have submitted a revised bid for Manchester United.

Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe’s INEOS had been granted extensions to submit second bids to buy the club – and the latter have now made their move.

Both of the top bidders had not submitted their improved offers by Wednesday’s 9pm deadline. However, US hedge fund Elliott Management did make an offer before the deadline to buy a minority stake in the club.

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Elliott Management have also offered financing to other parties interested in investing in United and that offer still stands.

Would £4.5bn be enough for Glazers to sell?

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Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol explains what American hedge fund Elliot Management’s minority bid could mean for Manchester United and the Glazers

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“There was this deadline last night (Wednesday) of 9pm, and we understand Ratcliffe’s team got in touch with Raine to ask for a little bit more time, and that bid has gone in today.

“We’re now just waiting to hear that the Qataris have put their bid in too. We know Ratcliffe has the funds in place – not all of it will be his own money – to be able to buy Man Utd.

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“How much is the bid worth? The information I have is that the first round of bids were world-record bids, more than £3.75bn, and potentially around £4.5bn. It’s a staggering amount of money, but may not be enough for the Glazer’s to sell.”

Sky Sports News understands the Glazer family do want to sell the club.

Here’s what happened on a dramatic Tuesday night of extraordinary developments around the sale of Man Utd:

  • 9pm: Deadline for second bids passes, with Elliott Management having submitted offer for minority stake.
  • 9.10pm: Qataris claim to make new, improved, debt-free world-record bid.
  • 9.45pm: Raine Group, the firm handling the sale of Man Utd, say they did not receive bids from Sheikh Jassim or Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS. The Qataris had previously asked for an extension, followed by INEOS. Both extensions were granted.
  • 10.25pm: Raine Group say they have received “many proposals” to buy United before deadline but not from the Qataris or Ratcliffe.
  • 10.35pm: Sky Sports News told that Glazers do want to sell United.
  • 10.45pm: Qataris say they did not submit bid because they were offered an extension which had been granted to other parties and Sheikh Jassim decided to take it up.
  • 10.50pm: Sources involved reveal Sheikh Jassim’s bid is ready to go and he did not need extra time.

The Glazer family have still not indicated how much they want for United, with even the most senior people involved not knowing the asking price.

It is understood up to eight bids were sent in to Raine on Wednesday night but not all of them are to buy United outright.

The Qataris believe they will have the best offer for the club, the fans and the community.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the leading contenders but there is no favourite at present, with the highest first-round bids having valued the club at around £4.5bn – well short of the Glazer family’s widely-reported £6bn asking price.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe arrives at Old Trafford on Friday as talks continue about a potential takeover of Manchester United

The Raine Group and the Glazers will take around a week to evaluate the new bids, although there is no new deadline for Sheikh Jassim to make his new bid.

Sheikh Jassim’s bid team called Raine on Tuesday and asked for more time. Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid team called Raine on Wednesday and asked for more time. Both requests were granted without a new deadline.

Once the bids are evaluated, one bidder could be given exclusivity, although it is more likely there will be another round of bids with a smaller group of preferred bidders.

How Ratcliffe and the Qataris made their pitch

Image: Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, centre, and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, right, are in the running to buy Manchester United from the Glazers, left

Ratcliffe and his INEOS delegation have been described as impressive and sophisticated in their approach, having visited the club for six hours last Friday.

Ratcliffe says he will not pay a “stupid” price for United but his interest in the club would be “purely in winning things”, calling the club a “community asset”.

It was previously understood the Qatari bidders were determined not to pay over the odds for the club but that stance has softened in recent days, coinciding with a delegation’s visit to Old Trafford.

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Following the deadline of the second round of bidding for Manchester United, Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol provides the latest updates

A Qatari delegation travelled to Manchester from London by train and received a warm welcome. Talks were held across 10 hours – a lot longer than expected.

Sheikh Jassim and members of his team had been to Old Trafford as fans before and the focus of this visit was to get a perspective on what they could do with their capital investment regarding infrastructure, youth development and the women’s team.

Any bid of more than £3.75bn would break the world-record fee for a sports club set when the Denver Broncos were sold last summer.

The Washington Commanders are also up for sale and are expected to change hands for more than that.

Zilliacus: Financing Man Utd bid isn’t a big obstacle

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Finnish Businessmen Thomas Zilliacus reveals what he would like to do with Manchester United if his bid to become an investor is accepted.

Finnish Businessmen Thomas Zilliacus reveals what he would like to do with Manchester United if his bid to become an investor is accepted.

“We have the finances,” he told Sky Sports. “The Glazers know the world is not flush with money, but there is enough in the hands of people who are looking for interesting opportunities and returns.

“I feel this could be one of those. To finance the bid, frankly I don’t see that as a big obstacle. We have finance available for whatever is required but we won’t go to crazy levels.

“I’ve read there are as many as five other bidders for the club. We would be happy to talk to the other bidders to join forces with one or more of those if they feel the same as we do about involving the fans.”

Image: Thomas Zilliacus has revealed he has bid for Man Utd

Zilliacus has revealed that his bid is based on buying half the club, letting the fans buy the other 50 per cent.

He is the founder and chairman of social media company novaM Group and has said he submitted his bid through his holding company XXI Century Capital.

“Any sport club ultimately should belong to its fans,” added Zilliacus. “The current development, where billionaire sheikhs and oligarchs take over clubs and control them as their personal playgrounds is not a healthy trend.

“The current market value of the club is just under $3.9bn. That means that if every one of the fans of the club would join in buying the club, the total sum per fan would amount to less than $6. My bid is built on equality with the fans.

“My group will finance half of the sum needed to take over the club, and will ask the fans, through a new company that is being set up for this specific purpose, to participate for the other half. If every fan joins it means less than $3 per fan. Each fan who joins will have access to an app which the fan, from anywhere in the world, can use to participate and cast his vote when deciding on footballing matters relating to the club.

“No decisions will be taken that are not supported by a majority of the fan base.

He added: “Manchester United should not only be the best football club in the world, it should also be the leading club in the world in working to stop abuse, racism and hate speech in social media and on sports grounds.

“Should we be successful in our bid we will ensure that Manchester United, the best football club in the world, will operate on a foundation of respect, equality, dignity, diversity, racial harmony and democracy, and with its global fan base included and involved in all decisions.”

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