Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim has finally had his £6billion bid to buy Manchester United accepted by the Glazer family and has begun due diligence, according to reports.
Manchester United news, exclusives and analysis
The takeover talks have dragged on for nine months now, with the Glazers first confirming they were ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ all the way back in November of last year.
Since the backend of last season, the bidding process has been whittled down to a straight shootout between Qatari-backed Sheikh Jassim and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The Glazer siblings have been weighing up the two offers for some time, with Ratcliffe’s offer favoured by Joel and Avram as it would have allowed them to retain their shares.
But Sheikh Jassim kept upping his offer despite various deadlines having elapsed and now The Sun are reporting that the Glazers have at last managed to all agree and will commit to a full sale of the club.
According to the report, senior figures at Old Trafford warned the Glazers there would be a ‘huge backlash’ from supporters if they held onto any shares.
But Avram and Joel appear to have relented and the family’s controversial 18-year reign at Old Trafford looks set to come to an end.
Sheikh Jassim will buy 100 per cent of the club and will also wipe out the gross debt of £725million that was racked up over the Glazers’ stewardship of United.
The Qatari banker’s team are currently completing due diligence on the club before the takeover can be rubberstamped, with the deal likely to be completed around mid-October.
In addition to completing their own due diligence, the Qatari bid will also need to pass the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ test, also known as the Fit and Proper Persons’ test, before it can be signed off.
The deal will not be completed in time for United to invest in the transfer market before the window closes at the end of the month, but Sheikh Jassim does intend to upgrade both Old Trafford and the club’s Carrington training ground.
Aside from statements made when they first submitted their proposals, neither the Qatari or Ineos bids have been allowed to comment on the process or provide updates due to NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) signed when they joined the process.
Ratcliffe did, however, suggest Sheikh Jassim would not have a blank cheque book, saying in a rare interview in early July: ‘You can only spend the money that you receive. Obviously that wasn’t always the case, for example with PSG and Manchester City.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Source: Read Full Article