Man Utd warned they could become Qatari 'plaything' amid takeover talks

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is fearful that Manchester United could become a ‘plaything’ after investors from Qatar officially launched a bid to buy the club.

Manchester United news, exclusives and analysis

On Friday, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of one of Qatar’s biggest banks QIB, submitted the offer to the Raine Group, who are overseeing the sale of United on the behalf of the Glazer family.

They are however facing competition from British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS who confirmed their bid on Saturday, as well as other US consortiums.

There is already much controversy and hostility towards the Qatari bid due in part to the well-documented human rights issues in the Middle Eastern country.

Rodgers, whose Leicester side travel to Old Trafford on Sunday, also has concerns, not only because of the amount of money being thrown around football in general.

Asked for his view on the deal in his pre-match press conference, the Foxes’ boss said: ‘When you go back, it used to be the richest guy in the city who owned his local club and it was a great honour for him. Those times have changed.

‘It’s becoming increasingly difficult. For the likes of ourselves, money can distort reality, and I think it’s important the governance of the game is looked after.

‘With that, I mean keeping the playing field as equal as we possibly can, otherwise it will become a top four or then a top six or seven.

‘It’s challenging. When teams can go out and spend the money they can, it’s inevitable that the levels between clubs will grow further apart.’

Since 2010, Leicester have been owned by the King Power group from Thailand who have been lauded by fans for brining success not only on the pitch but off it also.

And Rodgers hopes that whoever takes over United puts the fans best interests first ahead of their own adding: ‘If people come in with finance, that’s absolutely fine. It has to be for the right reasons, though.

‘Football in this country means everything, it does to a lot of people around the world, but I only tell from here in Britain that it really does mean everything.

‘It’s a really competitive league, it’s amazing to be involved in, there are so many challenges tactically and qualitatively, but at the same time, you don’t want any club to be a plaything.

‘We all are only custodians for the clubs. To look after them for the supporters. That’s what I’ve always felt is important.

‘If I look at our ownership here, yes, they are a very wealthy family, but the fans are at the heart of everything they do – the experience they try to give them. I’m sure that other clubs have their stories of how they’ve helped their communities.’

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