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UK Soccer Club Manchester United Is Negotiating Exclusivity In A $6 Billion+ Deal With Qatar's Sheikh Jassim

UK Soccer Club Manchester United Is Negotiating Exclusivity In A $6 Billion+ Deal With  Qatar's Sheikh Jassim
In negotiations to sell itself for over $6 billion, English football club Manchester United is considering providing exclusivity to the consortium led by Qatar's Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, sources familiar with the situation said.
Although a transaction is still doubtful, the development marks a significant step in Sheikh Jassim's efforts to acquire the renowned sports brand. Sheikh Jassim is the son of Qatar's former prime minister and one of the wealthiest people in the Gulf state.
According to one of the sources, members of the Glazer family, who own minority stakes in Manchester United and exercise power over it due to a dual-class share structure, would get cash as part of the planned transaction.
The sources claimed that the Glazers presently see the Qatari offer more favourably than a bid from British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, the creator of chemicals manufacturer INEOS. The Ratcliffe bid assumes the Glazers will continue to be somewhat interested in Manchester United.
For the duration of the exclusivity period, Manchester United would not be permitted to talk with any other bidder save Sheikh Jassim. How long this phase might last was unknown. The sources warned that the situation was still shaky and that Sheikh Jassim might not be able to secure exclusivity if Ratcliffe made a new offer.
The sources asked to remain anonymous because the information is private. Requests for comment from Sheikh Jassim and Manchester United representatives were not immediately fulfilled.
On the back of the news, Manchester United's stock surged as much as 15% before closing Thursday's trading in New York up 6.8% at $24.81.
Following the sale of the Washington Commanders of the National Football League earlier this year for a sum comparable to $6 billion, a deal of at least $6 billion for Manchester United would rank among the largest deals in sports history.
Additionally, it would come with a sizable premium over other football contracts. A consortium of investors led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital purchased Chelsea Football Club last year for $3.1 billion, valuing it at 5.7 times revenue from the previous fiscal year.
According to Refinitiv data, a sale for more than $6 billion would value Manchester United at more than 10 times its yearly income from the previous year.
The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers were purchased by the Glazer family, who amassed wealth in real estate, retail, and healthcare, and who also controls the team, for 790 million pounds ($1 billion) in 2005.
According to market research company Kantar, Manchester United, a record 20-time English champion, has more than 650 million supporters globally. They have been demanding a change in ownership in great numbers.
This is due to the fact that the Glazers have presided over a considerable decline in the club's fortunes, with the team only winning its 20th and last top-flight championship in 2012–2013, under former manager Alex Ferguson.
Under Erik ten Hag, Manchester United won the League Cup this season, but the magnitude of the turnaround needed is shown by the fact that they finished third in the league, 14 points behind local rivals and treble winners Manchester City.
While some supporters may think that a new Qatari owner's huge finances could help United close the gap with Manchester City, which is supported by Abu Dhabi, others have expressed "deep concern" over Qatar's human rights record.
The argument that some Middle Eastern countries are seeking to "sportswash" their images stems from the enormous investments they have made in sport in recent years.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup was held in Qatar, whose state-run Qatar Sport Investments (QSI) also owns Ligue 1 team Paris St. Germain.
Newcastle United and the independent LIV Golf Series, which just decided to join with the PGA Tour, are both supported by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Christopher J. Mitchell

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