Man United owners hold talks with potential Saudi and Qatari investors – media
The club’s US-based owners are understood to be seeking offers to buy the Premier League giants
Manchester United’s part owner Avram Glazer has opened discussions with potential Qatari and Saudi Arabian investors while attending the FIFA World Cup, according to a report by The Athletic.
The Glazer family, who remain deeply unpopular figures at Old Trafford due to their handling of the world famous football club, revealed in November that they were looking to “explore strategic alternatives” for the club which could include partial investment or a full sale of the club.
It was reported that they are seeking what would be a world record figure of between £6 billion and £7 billion ($7.3bn to $8.5bn) if they are to agree to a wholesale change of ownership.
The Glazers have retained the services of US investment firm The Raine Group to act as their exclusive financial adviser throughout the process, the same organization that oversaw the sale of rival team Chelsea by Roman Abramovich to a consortium fronted by US businessman Todd Boehly earlier this year.
The exact nature of the reported discussions with figures from Qatar and Saudi Arabia remains unclear, reports The Athletic, but it has previously been speculated that the Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf state’s sovereign investment fund, was seeking to purchase a top European football club.
However, it remains to be seen if the government of Qatar would be prepared to pay such a large fee when cheaper investment opportunities may be available within European football.
Neither Manchester United or The Raine Group commented on the matter when contacted by media.
Earlier this week in Doha, Avram Glazer indicated that the process of seeking investment is currently ongoing.
“It’s not necessarily a sale, it’s a process and we’re going forward with the process, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“That’s the update, it’s the process and the process is proceeding.”
It’s understood that discussions have also taken place with Saudi Arabian and Dubai-based investment funds about a potential sale – reports of which picked up pace when Saudi Arabia sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said he hoped that figures within his country pushed forward with an offer for United or Liverpool, another team on the market.
“I hope so, if there are investors and the numbers add up, and it makes a good business,” he said.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. Everyone’s watching the Premier League. It’s the most watched league and there are diehard fans of these teams in the kingdom. So it would be a benefit for everyone.”