Journalist drops Man Utd sale update amid claims Sir Jim Ratcliffe has suffered 'double financial blow'
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Respected journalist Mike Keegan has provided an update on the sale of Manchester United amid reports of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's financial losses.
British billionaire Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim have emerged as frontrunners to succeed the Glazers at Old Trafford.
Despite Ratcliffe's recent comments, exclaiming that "failure was not an option", Sheikh Jassim may have edged ahead in the race to buy the club after it was claimed Ratcliffe's two major chemical firms - INEOS Group Holdings SA and INEOS Quattro Holdings Ltd - recorded net losses in the second quarter of 2023.
That's according to Bloomberg, who confirmed that it was the first time that's happened at the two firms since the second quarter of 2020.
However, Keegan has stated that the situation "remains ongoing" after checking in with "all sides".
"The latest is that we’re approaching a year since the announcement and we still don’t have a conclusion," he told the Daily Mail on Wednesday.
"I checked in this morning with those close to the process on all sides who say it remains ongoing. One source described the Glazers as ‘very patient’ people, which I guess will surprise nobody. Stubborn could be another word you might use."
Keegan also provided an update on how United's new shirt sponsor could affect the sale of the club.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that the Red Devils had teamed-up with technology firm Qualcomm Snapdragon and the company will become the club's primary front-of-shirt sponsors for next season.
A short statement from the club read: "Manchester United PLC has agreed to an expanded strategic collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, that will see the Snapdragon brand displayed on the club's famous shirts."
When quizzed on the impact it could have, Keegan explained: "It won’t make a great deal of difference. While it shows some degree of enduring strength in the business it isn’t a ‘wow’ deal that knocks you off your seat.
"The Chevrolet deal, for which they admittedly grossly overpaid, was valued at more than this and so it isn’t the kind of development that you could use to try and demand a huge hike in the price those in the takeover process are willing to pay. The fact that the previous shirt sponsors were willing to walk away will also be taken into consideration."