Emir of Qatar draws up solution to UEFA rules for Man Utd takeover bid

Sir Jim Ratcliffe officially enters race to buy Man United from Glazers

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Manchester United could yet come under the ownership of the Emir of Qatar with plans being drawn up to get around UEFA rules. The Emir currently owns PSG through the Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) group and regulations state that one party cannot own two clubs in the same competition. However, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani reportedly hopes to bypass this by demonstrating that both clubs would be administered by different personnel.

United were first put on the market in November after the Glazer family announced that it was ‘commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives’ for the club. Options ranging from bringing ‘new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company’ were to be considered with interested parties invited to come forward. However, a full sale is thought to be the most likely outcome.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the only party to have formally declared his interest ahead of Friday’s ‘soft deadline’ for bids. Offers are also expected from groups in America and the Middle East with Elon Musk and the Emir of Qatar, Hamed al-Thani, believed to be among them.

There had been questions over whether or not the Qatari royal would be able to make a bid given UEFA rules which prevent one party from owning two clubs in the same European competition. The QSI’s ownership of PSG would bring the Emir into conflict with this as both the Parisians and the Red Devils can compete together in the Champions League.

However, The Guardian reports that those involved are searching for a workaround. The aim is to demonstrate that United would not be administered by the same structure and personnel as PSG something that they hope will be enough to get around the rules.

As a result, the QSI are expected to make a formal bid of more than £4billion before Friday with those within the group valuing the Red Devils at no more than £4.5bn.

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It remains to be seen whether or not this will be enough to convince the Glazers to sell given they are widely reported to be seeking £6bn for their asset.

The takeover is being administered by the investment banking firm the Raine Group, the same company that oversaw the sale of Chelsea, and it is they who have placed Friday’s ‘soft deadline’ on bids for the club.

Offers will still be made after this date so the future ownership of United could still be unclear for some time to come.

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