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Manchester United’s bid deadline has been delayed due to uncertainty



Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos, and Qatari financier Sheikh Jassim will make better offers for Manchester United after the first deadline was extended at their request on Wednesday night amid misunderstanding.

Bidders were given till 21:00 GMT to submit amended second offers.

Allfootballevents has been informed that numerous other potential investors fulfilled the first deadline.

The new deadline has yet to be determined.

Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim are the only bidders that have officially announced their interest.

On Wednesday evening, there were strong signs that the duo had lodged new offers.

It is now reported that both parties requested extra time to make their second proposals to Raine, the investment bank handling the sale, within the last 24 hours, which was granted.

Someone close to the discussions described the situation as “live and fast moving,” although it is believed that both Sheikh Jassim and Ineos are committed to making second offers.

The unusual twist in the selling process, however, will only fuel fears among some supporters that American owners the Glazer family may opt not to sell the club.

Ineos intends to acquire the combined Glazer stake of around 69%, while the Qataris want to buy the entire club.

Both parties met with United Nations officials earlier this month.

Allfootballevents has heard that United officials recently met with eight distinct possible investors during a 10-day span of high-level discussions, including Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim representatives.

The sum of their original proposals has not been released, but they were certainly much below the £5-6bn valuation that the Glazers had created, a price that would surpass the record £3.71bn paid for a sports franchise.

The next critical question is whether they – or any other possible buyers – can submit an offer that persuades the Glazers to sell.

If not, and with United’s finances improving substantially under manager Erik ten Hag in recent months, the Americans may opt to keep the club and instead sell a minority interest to the likes of US hedge fund Elliott Investment Management.

The Glazer family indicated in November they were contemplating selling United.

Sheikh Jassim’s Qatari group announced their initial proposal, saying it “want to restore the club to its previous glories.”

Sheikh Jassim, the son of a previous Qatari prime minister and a lifelong Manchester United fan, is the head of Qatari bank QIB.

The Ineos firm, led by 70-year-old British billionaire Ratcliffe, has a long history of sports investing, owning French Ligue 1 team Nice and Swiss club Lausanne.

Its sporting portfolio also includes the high-profile sailing team Ineos Britannia, captained by Sir Ben Ainslie, and a five-year collaboration with Formula 1 team Mercedes, as well as the British-based cycling club Team Sky, which it acquired in 2019.

At the time of the first offer it was anticipated its plan would underline Manchester-born Ratcliffe would be “a British custodian for the club” and would strive to “bring the Manchester back into Manchester United”.

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