Manchester United Takeover Saga Takes New Twist with PSG President’s Involvement
In a new twist to Manchester United’s ongoing takeover saga, Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has reportedly played a significant role in the developments surrounding a group led by Qatari royal Sheikh Jassim, according to The Athletic.
Sheikh Jassim’s group, along with British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is considered one of the front-runners for the acquisition of the Premier League club.
The report suggests that Sheikh Jassim sought advice from Al-Khelaifi, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in football.
The Glazer family, former owners of Manchester United, apparently reached out to Al-Khelaifi in an attempt to convince Sheikh Jassim to increase his bid after he sought the PSG president’s counsel.
Al-Khelaifi subsequently met with the Glazers and American bank Raine Group in an advisory capacity to discuss the potential purchase.
Earlier this week, Sheikh Jassim’s representatives reportedly submitted a bid of approximately £5 billion, marking their fifth and final attempt. However, the Glazers initially demanded £6.4 billion.
It is emphasized that Sheikh Jassim is privately wealthy and independent of the Qatari state, despite concerns from some Premier League clubs that he may merely serve as a front for Qatar if he were to become the owner of Manchester United.
This apprehension stems from Al-Khelaifi’s significant influence in football, as he holds positions such as chairman of beIN Media Group and boss of Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
Moreover, there are potential complications related to UEFA regulations if Sheikh Jassim with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi were to acquire Manchester United and PSG simultaneously.
Under these rules, both clubs could be ineligible for Champions League participation due to common ownership, forcing UEFA to determine the true ownership of the clubs.
Sheikh Jassim’s team asserts that his intention is to solely own Manchester United, without any involvement from Al-Khelaifi.
However, the disclosed partnership between the two has raised concerns and sparked speculation about their potential collaboration in club ownership endeavors worldwide.