Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim, exasperated with frustration, has withdrawn his offer for Manchester United. Relinquishing his bid to a more patient contender, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Qatari has exited the process of purchasing the club with a final offer of $6.3 billion. Sheikh Jassim also considered their valuation highly unrealistic compared to his astonishingly generous bid for 100 percent ownership of the club. Over the past few days, Jassim engaged in further and concluding discussions and negotiations before terminating the nine-month-long deal. In the time it took most people to birth a new life, the Glazers remained indecisive. Jassim made the first bid in February 2023, and called it quits in October.
The Qatari royal’s exit leaves the door open for petrochemicals billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has been vying for ownership of the Red Devils for nearly the same duration. Ratcliffe has proposed allowing the current owners, Joel and Avram, to retain a 20% stake if his bid succeeds. It appears that his patience may finally pay off. However, this outcome will likely disappoint a significant portion of United supporters, as the Glazers’ ownership has burdened the club with nearly $1.2 billion in debt, as reported by The Guardian.
Jassim’s financial support would have not only benefited the club, valued at $3.2 billion, but his withdrawal has also halted plans for a new stadium, training center facilities, and city and community regeneration projects, which were estimated to cost an additional $1.7 billion. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano shared the news on his YouTube channel on Saturday, stating, “Sheikh Jassim has engaged in further discussions with the Glazers family regarding the acquisition of 100 percent of Manchester United. However, the Glazers family has once again rejected Sheikh Jassim’s bid proposition. Consequently, Sheikh Jassim has informed the Glazers that he is prepared to withdraw from the process.”
Sheikh Jassim’s father, former Qatar prime minister Sheikh Hamad, must have breathed a sigh of relief, as the royal was never particularly inclined toward this investment. He expressed, “I am not a football fan. I don’t favor this investment. Perhaps it will prove to be successful. However, some of my sons are enthusiastic about it; they always discuss it with me. They are pushing hard for it. This isn’t my specialty.” He added, “Let me put it this way: I am an investor. If it eventually becomes a sound investment, I will consider it. I won’t view it solely as a form of advertising.”