Man Utd takeover: Elon Musk, the Emir of Qatar & everything you need to know about bids, deadline & the Glazer sale process

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GOAL tells you everything you need to know about the proposed Manchester United takeover including bids, deadline and the complete sale process

Manchester United have called on bidders to step forward ahead of the potential sale of the club, with the Glazer family confirming their intent to 'explore strategic alternatives'.

The fans were ecstatic after the Red Devils put out an official statement in November 2022 following initial reports suggesting that the Glazers could be open to a sale.

A section of the supporters has accused the Glazers of prioritizing profits over on-field success and investment in the club's infrastructure, with 'Glazers Out' banners a common sighting at Old Trafford and on the streets of Manchester.

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There has been no shortage of speculation about the next potential buyer, with the Raine Group - who brokered Chelsea's sale in May 2022 - being appointed to act as United’s exclusive financial advisors while Latham & Watkins LLP will be their legal counsel. GOAL tells you everything you need to know about the bidders, the deadline to submit their bids, and the complete sale process.

Old Trafford 2023

Why are Manchester United for sale?

After more than 17 years of controversial ownership, since the Glazers' family acquired the club in 2005 through a leveraged buyout, they have finally decided to make way for new owners.

In an official statement, they explained that they are seeking "new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company" to "strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale."

This is being done to enhance "the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders."

However, it must be noted that the Glazer family currently own 69 per cent of Manchester United with a few of the siblings selling their shares in recent years.

Edward, Kevin, Bryan and Avram Glazer and their sister, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz have liquidated a portion of their holdings in the company.

Glazers Manchester United

How much are Manchester United worth?

The Premier League outfit is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and are currently trading at $24.46 (£20.41) each share, at the time of writing (Feb 16) with the total valuation being marked at £3.84 billion ($4.6 billion) which is now close to the valuations given by Forbes (£3.84 billion/$4.6 billion) and Sportico (£4.97/$5.95 billion).

However, the net worth and the asking price of the Glazers can be totally different.

It has been reported that the Glazers are looking to sell United at a record fee of about £6-£8 billion ($7.2-$9.7 billion). The Denver Broncos currently hold the record for the most expensive sports franchise after the team was sold for $4.65 billion (£3.89 billion).

Marcus Rashford Manchester United 2022-23

Who are interested in buying Manchester United?

Five bidders are reportedly preparing to make offers to buy Manchester United, according to a report in The Times. There has been significant interest from the United States, the Middle East and even Asia for a potential takeover.

The Raine Group are handling the sale with utmost confidentiality so that the interested parties remain behind the curtains.

However, there have been several reports mentioning the potential bidders. Let us take a look at those names who have been linked with the sale process.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Owner of Ineos)

The British businessman is the founder of Ineos, the fourth-largest chemicals company in the world – with a diverse range of products including synthetic oils and plastics and solvents that are used to make insulin and antibiotics.

According to the Sunday Times 'Rich List' in 2022, his personal fortune was estimated at £6.075 billion ($7.4bn), which made him the 27th richest person in the world. However, if his business interests are combined with his personal worth, then the valuation might be around £13bn ($15.6bn).

Net worth:

£13 billion ($15.6bn)

Source of wealth:

Oil, gas, chemicals

Date of birth:

October 18, 1952




Elon Musk (Owner of SpaceX, Tesla & Twitter)

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is reportedly following the developments of takeover talk at Manchester United. The tech billionaire, who boasts an estimated personal fortune of £157 billion ($190bn) is interested in a possible deal for the Premier League giants.

Musk has publicly acknowledged being a fan of the Red Devils as a kid and added that if he ever bought a sports team it would be Manchester United.

Net worth:

£157 billion ($188.95 billion)

Source of wealth:

Space technology, Automobile, Twitter.

Date of birth:

June 28, 1971


Naturalized citizen of the United States

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani | Emir of Qatar, youngest current sovereign worldwide | Paris Saint-Germain owner

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (Emir of Qatar)

The Qatar supremo Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has reportedly shown interest in buying Manchester United. The Qatar Sports Investment group, which owns PSG, would have submitted an outright bid, but thanks to a Uefa ruling they cannot do so.

The apex governing body of football in Europe states that clubs with the same owners are unable to face each other in the Uefa competitions, meaning United would be blocked from facing PSG in the Champions League/Europa League/Conference League/Super Cup, as they have done in recent seasons.

However, The Guardian reports that Qatar officials are trying to work out a solution to this problem so that they can complete the takeover if their bid is accepted without any objection from Uefa.

Al-Thani's individual net worth is estimated to be around £1.6 billion but the royal family's collective net worth is estimated at around £276bn.

Net worth:

£276 bn ($332.49 bn)

Source of wealth:

Oil, gas, real estate, financial institutions, automobile and aviation.

Date of birth:

June 3, 1980.



Michael Knighton

Michael Knighton

In August, Michael Knighton claimed that he was working on a blueprint for a "hostile takeover" of Manchester United. He is a lifelong United fan and came close to takeover the club in 1989 after his £20m ($24m) takeover bid had been accepted by then chief executive Martin Edwards. However, the deal fell through and he went on to buy Carlisle United in 1992.

Knighton was first a geography and physical education instructor at a school in Huddersfield, who later progressed to the role of the headmaster. However, he retired from this role and shifted his interests to real estate where he made most of his fortune.

Net worth:

£5.8 million ($7m)

Source of wealth:

Real estate, property

Date of birth:

October 4, 1951



Saudi Arabia (State-backed Public Investment Fund)

Investors from Saudi Arabia have thrown their hats into the ring and are ready to table a bid for the takeover of Manchester United. According to The Telegraph, several groups in Riyadh have made enquiries about United and have put their signature on sale materials. The nation’s £515 billion ($614bn) Public Investment Fund (PIF) is already involved with Newcastle United but had shown interest in a takeover of Chelsea in 2022 when the Blues were put up for sale.

Moreover, they were also keen to take over United a few years back but withdrew their interest when they found out that the Glazers were parting with only a 20 per cent stake.

Net worth:

£515 billion ($614bn

According to ESPN, there is also interest from the United States. Several financial groups backed by equity funds or wealthy individuals based in America are interested in submitting a bid, but are not willing to be named in public.

When is the deadline to submit a bid to buy Manchester United?

A deadline of February 17 has been set for potential buyers to submit their bids including their bank guarantees.