The third son of Qatar’s former prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (HBJ) is so low-key that inspite of owning a $300 million superyacht, very little is known of him. In fact the 40-year-old former Crown Prince royal got a dedicated Wikipedia page only a few days back. this affirms the fact that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is not friends with flamboyance and allowed very little to be known about him.
It was owing to an announcement to purchase the world-famous Manchester United Club for $6 billion that shifted focus on the older brother of the Emir of Qatar. The world only heard his name a few instances, like when Sheik Jassim abdicated his position as Crown Prince in 2003. HBJ then named his younger brother Tamim (current Emir of Qatar) as heir apparent. Let’s take a look at the Qatari royal who is finally coming out of the shadows, whether he likes the attention or not-
The sheik is in the limelight for splurging multi-billions on a bid for Manchester United-
The third son of the controversial Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani may soon make sporting history in his pursuit of the coveted football club. The royal has hired Bank of America Corp. to help him purchase Manchester United from the Glazer family. He has presented the family with an irresistible offer of a whopping $6 billion, almost ascertaining the club could land in the lap of the Qatari royal family after all.
The only thing standing between Sheik Jassim and 100% club ownership is British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe ( who may find the sheik’s offer tough to beat). The 44-year-old is also the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, the country’s second-largest lender.
A deep-rooted love for sports-
Many would assume that billion-dollar deals mean only business! But all work and no play isn’t how Qatari royals roll. More than money, the love for sports is deep-rooted in Sheikh Jassim’s family. They have been involved in significant sports deals in the past, especially when HBJ was prime minister in 2010 when Qatar won its controversial bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Sheikh Jassim landing the sports asset will be a true win for the family with an offer that demands 100% club ownership. His competitor Ratcliffe has offered to buy the 69% owned by the Glazers, per Fortune.
Sheikh Jassim gave up his position as the heir apparent-
In 2003, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani stepped down as the crown prince giving life to several speculations. Some said it was sheer frustration over not having enough responsibilities that led Sheikh Jassim to the decision. Few sources cited health reasons which were tough to believe as the sheik was a young sports enthusiast.
According to Qatar News Agency, Jassim sent a letter to his father saying, “The time is appropriate to step down and prepare for a successor.” In the letter, Jassim stated, “I did not want, as I have told you from the start, to be appointed as crown prince,” and noted he had only accepted the position in October 1996 because of “sensitive circumstances.
The Emir did not explain the change and named his fourth son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the new crown prince (owner of the $400 million megayacht Katara). The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, also shares a love for sports with his sibling and has been participating in competitive sports. He was filmed playing badminton and bowled with former Egyptian military chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
The importance of the Manchester United sale-
A great club with fanatics for fans deserves an equally crazy sale price. However, the Premium League Club owners have made clear that despite the interest, there is a good chance the club will go unsold if its colossal price tag is not met. Money is certainly no issue for the Qatari banker with bottomless pits of money. The Glazer family is selling the iconic football club after two decades of ownership, with most family members wanting out.
That increases Sheik Jassim’s chances of emerging a winner as he is keen on 100% club ownership as opposed to his opponents. Malcolm Glazer spent around $1 billion to take a full contract of United between 2003 and 2005. Their intentions to sell the club aren’t clear. “What is obvious is that they want to maximize their profits by selling at their preferred price or not at all. The other possibility nobody is discounting is they will simply decide that none of the bids is anywhere near what they want and call it off, in the hope that the market conditions change in their favour in a year or so.”