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Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s efforts to purchase Manchester United could soon be thwarted by a ‘potentially unresolvable’ problem relating to the Glazer family, according to reports. United’s current owners are still yet to decide on their preferred buyer between Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is also in the running to emerge victorious when the takeover process is finally over.
Sheikh Jassim has been leading a Qatari delegation bidding to take full control of United from their current owners, while Ratcliffe has been fronting a proposal to buy a 50 per cent stake in the club. The latter would also be willing to allow the Glazers to retain a minority share of United, while they would have no ownership whatsoever under Sheikh Jassim’s proposal.
The takeover process at Old Trafford has been ongoing for more than six months now, with United fans no closer to knowing which bidder will be successful due to the absence of concrete updates in spite of the endless speculation. There is still a distinct lack of movement behind the scenes, according to The Independent, which is due in part to a ‘huge complication’ stopping things from progressing.
It is said that Joel and Avram Glazer would both prefer to stay at United, which has been described by an ‘insider’ as a ‘potentially unresolvable’ problem with the ability to wreck Sheikh Jassim’s hopes of getting a deal done. The current sense is that all parties are simply waiting to be informed of a final decision and the possibility of the Glazers refusing to sell cannot be ruled out at this time.
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The bids received by United have failed to match the Glazer-imposed valuation of around £6billion, with United’s current owners needing to compromise in order to strike a deal as things stand. Neither Sheikh Jassim nor Ratcliffe have been told to increase their offers, though, which suggests that the situation will continue to drag on without a conclusion until further notice.
It remains to be seen how things will develop over the next few weeks, with no end in sight to the growing speculation regarding the current state of play at Old Trafford. Gary Neville has been among those to publicly criticise the Glazers for keeping fans in the dark, while he also warned that a sale might not come to fruition in an interview with The Guardian back in June.
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“What you want from leaders is good, clear communication,” said Neville. “The Glazer family do the exact opposite. They’re in a position of authority, looking after a community, and United’s fans around the world are a global community.
“The Glazers haven’t communicated with them for nearly 20 years. The sale process is extending to an unpalatable length, everyone’s in the dark, and it’s symptomatic. They have to exit but I haven’t got faith that they’ll do the right thing.”
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