Although the deadline for updated proposals to purchase the Premier League giants passed, the owners of Manchester United were awaiting new offers from a Qatari banker and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe on Thursday.
According to reports, bidders were previously informed they had until Wednesday at 2100 GMT to make new proposals, but that deadline has since been extended.
The precise date of the new cut-off is unknown.
The only bidders who have made their intentions known publicly are Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals giant INEOS, and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank.
According to reports, there are up to eight different potential bidders for the club owned by the American Glazer family, who are extremely unpopular with Manchester United supporters, after a first round of bidding took place last month.
According to the BBC, a few additional potential investors submitted their applications by the deadline on Wednesday.
Although numbers have not been made public, it was believed that one or more of the first offers totaled around £4.5 billion ($5.5 billion).
That would make Manchester United, who haven’t won the Premier League in a decade, the most costly sports organization ever, though it wouldn’t come close to matching the Glazers’ rumored £6 billion valuation of United.
The club’s sale was one of the options mentioned in the November announcement by United’s owners that they were conducting a strategic assessment.
Sheikh Jassim is vying for total control of the club in an effort to restore its “former glories.”
absurd prices Ratcliffe, the founder of the chemical business INEOS, and a lifelong United supporter, wish to purchase the 69 percent investment that the Glazer family holds in the 20-time English champions.
The 70-year-old said last week to the Wall Street Journal that he was not interested in engaging in a bidding war at “crazy costs” to acquire one of football’s most illustrious clubs.
Ratcliffe, who already owns the French club Nice, claimed that his motivation for United will be “pure winning things,” referring to the team as a “community asset” rather than a business.
Since they took over the club in 2005, the Glazers have enraged many United supporters by loading the team with enormous debts. As they opened the door to outside investors in November, they seemed prepared to sell for a huge profit.
The Saudi royal wealth fund acquired a majority stake in Newcastle in 2021.
Amnesty International has urged the Premier League to strengthen ownership regulations to prevent “more sportswashing” from occurring.
If Sheikh Jassim’s bid is successful, it would also prompt the question of whether Qatar is turning its attention away from Paris Saint-Germain, which is now the team that Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe call home and which was acquired by Qatari investors in 2011.
Three-time European champions United haven’t won the Premier League since 2013—Alex Ferguson’s final season as manager—when he led them to a 20th English championship.
However, they are seeing a comeback this year under Erik ten Hag’s leadership after ending a six-year trophy drought.