Manchester United’s takeover situation is no closer to reaching a resolution with no communication between the sellers and buyers in more than a month.
United’s owners announced that the club was up for sale in November, but the battle to succeed the Glazer family in power appears no nearer to reaching its conclusion after a lengthy saga.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of petrochemicals firm Ineos, and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber al-Than of Qatar have been the frontrunners to takeover at the Premier League side and each have submitted a series of offers for the club.
Each have been considered favourites at various stages of the process, but uncertainty surrounds the intentions of the Glazer family.
The Athletic are reporting that the bids from both parties are for around $6.5bn (£5bn), a record for a professional sports team but below what the Glazers had hoped to receive.
The two bids are also structured differently, with Ratcliffe’s proposal for a controlling – but partial – stake and the Qatari bid for a complete takeover at Old Trafford.
Issues have arisen with both offers. The complications of Ratcliffe’s proposed partial takeover means the Glazers could be ‘tangled up in litigation’ with the club’s other investors, who own 31% of United. There have also been widespread concerns regarding the Qataris and how separate the bidders are to those in power at Paris Saint-Germain. The Premier League and UEFA would want clarity before any deal is finalised.
It is understood there has been ‘no communication’ between the sellers and potential buyers since Sheikh Jassim submitted a fifth bid in early June, with doubts increasing as to whether the Glazers will sanction a sale.
The lack of progress has led to suggestions that the Glazers have changed their stance on a sale, with the expansion plans for the Champions League potentially opening up an additional Premier League place and increased revenue.