Man Utd's five worst decisions since Erik ten Hag took over
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is a popular candidate to become Manchester United’s new owner among a section of the club’s fanbase due to his desire to complete a full takeover. The Qatari royal would likely waste no time enforcing change at a club that has plunged into turmoil under the Glazer family’s reign.
Almost one year after the Glazers announced a strategic review, Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe continue to battle over control at Old Trafford.
Express Sport explores four problems under the Glazers that Sheikh Jassim has either pledged or reportedly plans to fix if he beats the INEOS chief to a deal.
Handing legends key roles
Fresh reports claim that Sheikh Jassim has offered David Beckham an ambassadorial role if he becomes United’s new owner.
But the iconic Red Devils No 7 isn’t the only club legend who Sheikh Jassim wants to be involved in his regime.
In May, ESPN reported that the Qatari bidder had already contacted high-profile players from United’s greatest teams to enter prominent roles at the club in the case of his successful takeover.
He reportedly viewed the lack of former stars in the club’s hierarchy as an issue that he was determined to address, helping improve the relationship between fans and United figures.
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Clearing the mass debt
Arguably, the largest motivation for continued protests against the Glazer family is in response to the jaw-dropping debt United have built under their watch.
In September, it emerged that United’s debt had risen above a staggering £1billion due to a combination of gross debt, bank borrowings and outstanding transfer fees.
The club’s third-quarter results showed that debts had increased from £969m to £1.005bn, emphasising the worrying financial state that has become of the Glazer regime.
Sheikh Jassim has vowed to clear the club’s debt and invest using his own funds, ensuring that no more is clumped onto United down the line.
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Redevelopment of Old Trafford
In January, United appointed leading consultants Legends International and Populous for assessments and planning for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.
A decision on whether to rebuild Old Trafford – at the cost of £2bn – or upgrade the current ground – £1bn – is expected to be made by new owners.
However, the process is essentially on hold while there is continued uncertainty over the ownership situation.
Sheikh Jassim has promised investment into the club’s stadium and training facilities and would want to make an early statement by returning Old Trafford among the elite sporting venues.
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Hunger for sporting success
When Sheikh Jassim first announced his bid through the Nine Two Foundation, one line of his statement stood out.
“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be renowned for footballing excellence and regarded as the greatest football club in the world,” the Qatari wrote.
United’s standards have slipped over the last decade, with the club’s decisions increasingly based on commercial growth rather than sporting success.
Erik ten Hag has helped refocus attention on success on the pitch, and Sheikh Jassim would undoubtedly accommodate that vision.
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