Manchester United were the subject of an official bid of a minimum £4bn on Friday from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, the chairman of QIB, a Qatari bank. The offer comes with a promise to load no debt on the club and to redevelop the club’s infrastructure.
The bid from Sheikh al-Thani, via his Nine Two Foundation, came before Friday’s 10pm “soft” deadline for all potential buyers to lodge their opening offers for the club. According to reports Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest person, also made his intention to purchase United official on Friday night.
A Nine Two statement said: “Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100% of Manchester United. The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch, and – above all – will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United once more.
“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the Club supports. The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.”
Thani is the son of Qatar’s former prime minister. He is understood to have become a United fan in 1992, the reason for the name of the Nine Two Foundation. A further reason is as a reference to the club’s Class of 92, the group of homegrown players led by Ryan Giggs and David Beckham who enjoyed glittering careers in the first team.