The Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has raised his bid for Manchester United by making a fourth and last-ditch offer for the club, which is understood to be closer to £5 billion.
The businessman has made a late intervention after the lifelong United fan, and petrochemicals billionaire, Sir Jim Ratcliffe had submitted his third bid which valued United at a higher figure.
As with all of Sheikh Jassim’s previous proposals, he is trying to buy 100 percent of the club, where the Glazer family are current majority shareholders.
The Qatari has also pledged to clear United’s debt of £536 million and has promised a separate fund directed at the club and the community.
Ratcliffe’s most recent bid allowed Joel and Avram Glazer, two of the six siblings whose father, Malcolm, bought the club in 2005, to retain a stake while aiming to complete a takeover in the next few years.
The American merchant bank the Raine Group are overseeing the process for the Glazers. There have been three previous rounds of bids, without seeming to meet the Glazers’ valuation, though Ratcliffe had emerged as the favourite to complete a deal.