Man United takeover saga continue to rumble on with talks ongoing

Manchester United takeover saga continues to rumble on with talks STILL ongoing… and it would be optimistic for the matter to be resolved by the end of the year even if a bid is accepted

  • Mail Sport’s Mike Keegan answered your questions on the club’s takeover saga  
  • It is coming up to ten months since the Glazers put Man United up for sale 
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 2 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show

Manchester United’s long drawn out takeover saga is no closer to completion, Mail Sport’s Mike Keegan has revealed.

It is now approaching ten months since it was announced that the Glazers had put the club up on the market, with Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe the two frontrunners.

It was reported at the start of the month that discussions were continuing with a number of groups with a view to a full sale or partial investment. 

Sports news correspondent Keegan has been answering your questions in a Premier League Q&A, and he was was asked for the latest updates on the takeover situation.

He said: ‘As of this morning I am told that there has been no real movement since our last story which said that negotiations were ongoing with a number of interested parties and that we still, I’m sad to report, have no winner.’

Talks and negotiations for the sale of Man United remain ongoing despite significant delays to a process that began in November 2022 (pictured – United owners Avram and Joel Glazer)

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe (left) and Qatari Sheikh Jassim (right) remain the two front-runners in the process

United fans remain furious that the sale has not been completed after hopes it would have been completed by the end of last season

When asked if they would be sold this year, Keegan said it would be ‘slightly optimistic’.

‘That’s a great question and one I would have laughed at had it been asked in February, when we revealed that a bid was going to come from Sheikh Jassim or even at the end of April, when we had the deadline for final bids,’ he said on the Q&A. 

He added: ‘My read on it is that Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have lodged their bids, they are not at a level the Glazers are prepared to accept.

‘Raine are currently trying to bridge that gap. Things can change quickly but my latest info is that there has been little to indicate a sale is imminent. 

‘It’s worth noting that even if we get to a stage where a bid is accepted, which is not a given, the due process – Premier League owners and directors’ tests etc – have to follow, which will add a couple of months. 

‘Bearing all of the above in mind I would say end of this year is slightly optimistic.’ 

Both Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe have lodged bids which value United at around £5bn.  

While Sheikh Jassim’s offer is for a total buyout, the Ratcliffe proposal is for a staged takeover which would allow members of the Glazer family to retain their interest for a set period.

Further ‘Glazers out’ protests are expected in United’s home game with Nottingham Forest

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There remains a confidence among some close to the Sheikh Jassim bid that they will prevail. However, neither group is thought to have got close to the £6bn that the Glazer are reportedly seeking.

When asked if there was a favourite to takeover Man United, Keegan said: ‘I don’t think there is one. I think that negotiations are continuing with both Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s groups with a view to getting either of them closer to the asking price.

‘There are other details to consider. The SJ (Sheikh Jassim) offer is seen as ‘cleaner’ in that it is for 100% of the shares, at once. However, the SJR (Sir Jim Ratclffe) offer has potential issues given the way it is structured and how it may be received by the owners of shares who are not called Glazer. 

‘At face value, that may make SJ favourite but, based on what we know about the Glazers, I would be amazed if the winner is not the group that offers them the most money.

Keegan also said that if the Glazers’ price is not met, then they will be reluctant to sell and ‘pin their hopes on a successful season extinguishing the flames of unrest’. 

There were protests against the Glazers before their season-opener with Wolves, and there are further protests planned for their Saturday clash against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford. 


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