Let the Man Utd bidding war commence! Qatari investors' debt-free offer joined by last-minute Sir Jim Ratcliffe bid just before soft deadline
- Bin Hamad Al Thani launches substantial bid for Man Utd
- Sir Ratcliffe's INEOS submit rival bid
Soft deadline for bids on United is February 17, 10pm
WHAT HAPPENED? Bin Hamad Al Thani is the chairman of one of Qatar banks QIB and confirmed in a statement his intention to buy Manchester United. He said he has placed a "substantial" bid to buy the club and wishes to restore United to their "former glory", with the bid carrying no debt and all profit being reinvested back into the local community via the 92 foundation.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Raine Group have asked that initial bids to buy United a made to them by 10pm on February 17. British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe's INEOS have also officially thrown their hat in the ring with The Athletic confirming the bid late on Friday night.
WHAT THEY SAID: The bid from Bin Hamad Al Thani was announced via a statement that read: "Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 per cent of Manchester United Football Club. The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch, and - above all - will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club once more.
"The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim's Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports.
"The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? The process to buy the club will not be a quick one, and any prospective owners will be subject to a rigorous test from the Premier League and UEFA. The team, however, are next in action on Sunday as they face Leicester City at Old Trafford.