Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has officially withdrawn his £5 billion offer to purchase Manchester United, marking a significant development in the club’s ongoing ownership saga.
The Qatari banker had been in discussions with the Glazer family, the current owners of the football club, who had expressed their intention to sell in November 2022.
However, negotiations between Sheikh Jassim and the Glazers hit an impasse this week, leaving the door open for other potential buyers.
INEOS Group Emerges as Leading Contender
British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group has reportedly stepped up as the leading contender to acquire Manchester United. According to the Daily Mail, INEOS Group has made an offer of approximately £1.4 billion for a 25% stake in the club, and it is anticipated that this offer will be accepted.
This initial investment is part of a larger, phased buyout plan. Upon securing the 25% stake, it is expected that Ratcliffe and his team will assume control of football operations at Old Trafford.
This strategic move aims to address the concerns of disgruntled United supporters who have voiced their dissatisfaction with the Glazer family’s ownership and management of the club.
Who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and What Is His Net Worth?
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, often regarded as Britain’s wealthiest individual, holds a net worth estimated at approximately £13 billion. He serves as the chairman and CEO of the renowned chemicals company INEOS. His prominent role in the business world is matched by a history of football club ownership.
INEOS Group, under Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s leadership, already owns Ligue 1 side Nice and Switzerland’s FC Lausanne-Sport. Ratcliffe had also been a contender for ownership of Chelsea, although a consortium led by Todd Boehly ultimately secured the club last year.
Expanding INEOS Group’s Sports Portfolio
The INEOS Group’s foray into the world of sports ownership has been marked by a desire to diversify and expand its involvement. With the potential acquisition of a significant stake in Manchester United, INEOS Group is poised to further establish its presence in top-tier football.
As the ownership situation continues to evolve, the future direction of Manchester United remains a topic of great interest for fans, stakeholders, and football enthusiasts around the world.