Prospective bidders for Manchester United and those close to the process are fearful of the fact that they will not be able to compete with Qatari investors for the Red Devils.
According to The Times, there is a belief that it will be hard to beat Qatar due to their extremely deep pockets and a deep desire originating from the country for United to be their first acquisition in England.
The Times adds that Qatar’s interest in the 20-time English champions is also fuelled by their desire to build five-star hotels in Manchester.
“Manchester, after all, is a destination their airline already flies to and there is talk, even now, of the ambitious plans they may have for Old Trafford and the surrounds. The need for more five-star hotels in the city has been identified.”
One issue that has emerged is the conflict of interest brought about by QSI’s ownership of PSG. This is something powerful individuals believe can be mitigated by expensively-assembled lawyers.
“There is a view that Uefa’s rules should not prove too difficult to navigate for some similarly expensive lawyers. The Qataris insist privately that it is possible to identify a legal distinction between the QIA, QSI and any other investors.”
“Uefa insiders suggest it would only become an issue they need to examine should United return to the Champions League.”
Qatari investors enjoy the privilege of a fruitful and prosperous relationship with UEFA after Nasser-Al-Khelaifi’s role in botching the European Super League. In PSG’s tie against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, Aleksander Ceferin, the Uefa president was a guest of Al-Khelaifi in France.
The Times relays that there will be interest in United from key players in the United States before the Glazers’ Friday deadline elapses. Despite these parties not showing their hand, they will contact Raine to take part in the auction.
Miguel Delaney indicates that while Qatar was contacted by the Glazers at the turn of the year about the prospect of buying the club, it’s important to note that Jim Ratcliffe enjoys home support, being an Oldham boy and a British businessman.
“His [Ratcliffe] valuation is considerably lower than that of the Glazers. His bid will have the factor of government support, though, given that it represents British money coming back into the United Kingdom economy for one of its most famous cultural institutions.”
There is concern that the Glazers are on a “fishing expedition” and actually have no intention of handing over the reins at Old Trafford.
Delaney details that Joel and Avram Glazer could become potential buyers of the club themselves. The two brothers may seek the support of Apollo and buy out the rest of their siblings.
The unrest and internal politicking within the Glazer family have been likened to that of Succession, a popular TV show based on a billionaire media mogul intent on handing over his business empire to his power-hungry and warring children.
While the rest of the Glazer siblings want a complete sale of United, Joel and Avram are more inclined towards a partial sale and minority investment that would allow them to retain control.