Manchester United receive takeover bid from sheikh worth £276 BILLION: report

Manchester United facing Qatar takeover, following £4bn bid: A general view of the East Stand at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United before the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester United and Sporting Braga on October 23, 2012 in Manchester, England.
(Image credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Manchester United are set to receive a £4 billion bid for the club from the Emir of Qatar.

United were put up for sale by their deeply unpopular owners, the Glazer family, this season and it is believed that they are a target for both the Qatar Investment Fund (opens in new tab) and INEOS entrepreneur and fan, Sir Jim Ratcliffe (opens in new tab). The Glazers are said to value the club at around £6bn.

But a first bid from the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is expected before Friday's deadline – making United richer than they ever have been.

Lionel Messi of Argentina kisses the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Winner's Trophy as Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, look on during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.

Lionel Messi of Argentina kisses the World Cup trophy as Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, look on (Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Bin Hamad al-Thani is thought to be worth around £276bn (opens in new tab) – and though that would not necessarily equate to United having that much money to spend it would make plenty of dreams true for the club. Talk of demolishing Old Trafford is one idea, backed by former captain, Gary Neville. 

Despite the bid, though, it appears that there are complications that need to be ironed out. The emir owns Paris Saint-Germain via Qatar Sports Investments – and this could be a problem in UEFA competition. The governing body, currently, does not allow clubs that can meet in the same continental competition to have the same proprietor.

But given that both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig can compete in the Champions League, finding an arrangement should be a formality. According to the Guardian (opens in new tab),  "A solution is being sought, the current one being to demonstrate that United would not be administered by the same structure and personnel as PSG".

The Glazer family put United up for sale in November (opens in new tab), announcing that they were "commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives" after 17 years in control of the club.

Glazers Manchester United

Manchester United's Glazer family ownership are deeply unpopular with fans (Image credit: N/A)

It is believed that the Glazers are wanting more money than the Emir is currently offering. However, the emir believes £4.5bn is a realistic price – perhaps reflected in former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton's assertion that clubs outside of London are not worth as much as those in the capital. 

Amnesty International has warned that an imminent Qatari bid for Manchester United should be a “wake-up call” to the Premier League (opens in new tab) to strengthen its ownership rules.

More Manchester United stories

Formal bids are set to be submitted to buy United. The club had a quiet January window but brought in Marcel Sabitzer on deadline day after Christian Eriksen picked up a long-term injury.

Former United chairman Martin Edwards, meanwhile, has spoken to FFT about how the club's 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup victory helped changed the perception of English football across the continent.

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.