Manchester United’s owners were Thursday awaiting fresh bids from a Qatari banker and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe after the deadline passed for revised offers to buy the Premier League giants. Reports said bidders were initially told they had until 2100 GMT on Wednesday to submit new bids, but that has now been extended. It is unclear when the new cut-off will be. Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, and Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals giant INEOS, are the only bidders who have gone public with their intentions.
A first round of bidding took place last month and it has been reported there are as many as eight separate potential investors for the club owned by the American Glazer family, who are deeply unpopular with United supporters.
The BBC said several other proposed investors made their submissions by the Wednesday deadline.
No figures have been revealed but one or more of the initial bids was understood to be in the region of 4.5 billion pounds ($5.5 billion).
That would make Manchester United — who have not won the Premier League for a decade — the most expensive sports club in history, although it would be short of the 6 billion pounds valuation reportedly placed on United by the Glazers.
United’s owners announced in November they were conducting a strategic review, with the sale of the club one option being considered.
Sheikh Jassim is bidding for 100 percent control, aiming to return the club to its “former glories”.
A source close to Sheikh Jassim’s bid told AFP he remains confident his bid is “the best for the club, fans and local community”.
INEOS chemical company founder Ratcliffe, a boyhood United fan, wants to buy the combined Glazer shareholding of 69 percent of the 20-time English champions.
The 70-year-old told the Wall Street Journal