MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (AP) – After a series of high level meetings last week, a second round of bids to buy Manchester United are due today.
Representatives of Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani toured Old Trafford and the club’s training ground last Thursday, meeting with United executives.
Jim Ratcliffe (AP, pic below) held talks with the Premier League club on Friday and was pictured being greeted by chief executive Richard Arnold.
Indicative offers were submitted to American merchant bank Raine last month, with Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe confirming their intention to buy out the Glazer family, United’s current owners.
The next stage of the process included a closer look at United’s business and meetings with key executives before making renewed bids.
Sheikh Jassim is chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a former Qatari prime minister.
He is aiming to take 100 per cent ownership of United and is intent on investing in the club’s stadium and training facilities. He sent real estate advisors as part of his delegation last week.
Ratcliffe is the billionaire owner of petrochemicals giant INEOS and is bidding for majority ownership after launching a failed attempt to buy Chelsea last year.
United is expected to become the most expensive sports team in history, with the price estimated to reach up to USD6 billion.
United’s prospective new owners could also have to spend about USD1 billion to redevelop the stadium.
Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe remain the only bidders to publicly declare their interest in the 20-time English league champions.
There is still a possibility that the Glazers could opt against a full sale of the club as they explore “strategic alternatives”.