Sheikh Jassim was offered the chance to buy 100 per cent of Manchester United at a far cheaper rate than Sir Jim Ratcliffe, according to reports. The Red Devils were put up for sale by the Glazer family over a year ago, with Sheikh Jassim initially being linked with a full-scale takeover before Ratcliffe ended up buying a minority stake in the club.
Sheikh Jassim reportedly submitted five offers to purchase United but was left empty-handed by the Glazers, who instead chose to sell 25 per cent of the club to Ratcliffe. New documents show that Sheikh Jassim was previously given the opportunity to buy United at a cheaper rate than Ratcliffe, according to The Telegraph.
It is said that Sheikh Jassim was offered the club in exchange for £4.55billion, significantly less than the widely reported £6bn asking price set by the Glazers. Ratcliffe, meanwhile, purchased his minority stake for £1.3bn, which works out at a valuation of £5.2bn for the entire club.
The report adds that Sheikh Jassim failed to provide adequate proof of funding despite being asked to do so on multiple occasions by the Glazers. Those involved in the process always insisted that his proposed deal was being funded in a personal capacity, repeatedly dismissing suggestions that his bid was effectively bankrolled by the state of Qatar.
Discussions reportedly took place until October, at which point Sheikh Jassim indicated to the Glazers that he was withdrawing from the bidding process. He was said to have been reluctant to value Class A shares at the same price as Class B shares, which played a major role in allowing Ratcliffe to emerge as the leading contender.
The INEOS chief revised his proposal for a 25 per cent stake in a deal that valued both Class A and B shares equally, as well as the promise of £237m in additional investment into the club. Ratcliffe also issued an ultimatum that he would walk away from the process if his offer was not accepted by Christmas, which successfully forced the Glazers into action.
Ratcliffe recently sat down for four meetings with United supporters, with The Athletic claiming that many of them came away with a positive impression of the 71-year-old. The first two meetings were said to have been with fans in person, while the third was via a video call and the fourth was in person with local community leaders.
Meanwhile, it has been reported by The Guardian that Ratcliffe is expected to ask an external auditor to assess United’s internal structure in one of his first tasks at the club. This could put as many as 300 jobs at risk, with their newest investor looking to reduce the current number of staff by around 30 per cent.
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