REVEALED: The key to a Manchester United takeover ever happening

Exterior shot of Old Trafford, home stadium of Manchester United, ahead of the FA Cup fifth round match between Manchester United and West Ham United on March 1, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Manchester United must qualify for the Champions League again if the Glazers are to sell the club for its maximum value, a football finance expert has warned.

It's been almost a year since United's owners announced that they were seeking investment – which could involve a full-scale takeover at Old Trafford.

INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe – one of the richest people in Britain and a lifelong Man United fan – and prominent Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani still appear to be the leading contenders to buy the club, but the long-running process seems to have stalled.

British INEOS Group chairman Jim Ratcliffe looks on ahead of the UEFA Europa Conference League second-leg quarter final football match between Nice (OGCN) and FC Basel at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, on April 20, 2023.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Image credit: Getty Images)

Indeed, it was recently reported that the Glazers had taken United off the market – although this has never been confirmed.

In any case, the American family are said to value the club at between £7bn and £10bn – an amount which they are unlikely to get if Erik ten Hag fails to guide the club to a top-four Premier League finish this season.

That is according to Dr Rob Wilson, professor of economics at Sheffield Hallam University.

Why Manchester United's problems are EVEN WORSE than you think

Alluding to Chelsea's fortunes under the ownership of Todd Boehly, Dr Wilson told Saxo

"We have a good idea of what Boehly is trying to achieve from the public declarations and model they appear to be putting in, so you would argue it's worse for Chelsea to fail to qualify for the Champions League than Man United because they put so much behind a strategy that needs to recover its investment. 

"But from Man United's perspective, it reduces the asset to the Glazers if they are looking to sell – so probably six and two threes. It does demonstrate the importance of that Champions League qualification and why it will be so hotly contested."

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