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Saudi Arabia 'offered 30 per cent' stake in Manchester United as £700m proposal revealed

Saudi Arabia 'offered 30 per cent' stake in Manchester United as £700m proposal revealed

Things could have been very different for United.

Saudi Arabia once offered to buy a 30 per cent stake in Manchester United, it has been claimed.

Since February, the Chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, Sheikh Jassim, has been in a takeover battle with Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to buy United from the Glazer family.

And according to a fresh Sun report the Glazers are expected to confirm the winning approach within days, with Ratcliffe allegedly the preferred bidder.

United insiders have reportedly indicated the Glazrer family would prefer to sell majority control to the British billionaire rather than flog the entire club to Sheikh Jassim.

While the Qatari’s £5billion bid for full control was the highest sum the Glazers received, Ratcliffe’s deal for 50 per cent valued the club at a price closer to the Americans’ demanded £6billion.

Should such reports be believed it would put an end to a saga that has lingered on for months.

Man Utd’s ‘Saudi Arabia bid’

United, as one of the world’s most high-profile clubs, has long been the subject of takeover interest.

And speculation regarding a Saudi Arabia bid for a stake in the club emerged back in November 2019.

While such takeover rumours were rife, United’s then-managing director Richard Arnold travelled to the country to meet delegates for the country. The Old Trafford club insisted at the time that conversations never addressed ownership and remained solely focused on sponsorship opportunities.

Yet last October, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund and Newcastle’s chairman, claimed they had offered a 30 per cent stake in a Premier League club for £700million.

While the club in question was not named by Al-Rumayyan The Athletic alleges it is widely believed to be United.

Al Rumayyan told Radio Eight via Newcastle World at the time: “Why did we choose the English Premier League? Because it is the greatest league that exists in the world. No other league competes with it. Any team from the 20 can beat the strongest team.

“Before Newcastle, we had offers from Italy, France and also the UK. One UK club offered us 30 per cent for £700m and without any management.

“Amanda Staveley brought Newcastle to us and said ‘We like it so much, we would like it to be with you’. The Reuben family came and said ‘We would like to be partners in the investment’. So they have skin in the game.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Premier League, Newcastle United, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Manchester United