Manchester United takeover updates: Confusion as reports suggest leading bidders request extensions
Both Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have reportedly requested an extension after missing the 9pm deadline to submit final bids.
The proposed sale of Manchester United took a dramatic twist on Wednesday evening as the deadline to submit bids for the Premier League side passed.
It had been thought that both Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe would submit improved offers before the 9pm deadline but reports from the UK suggest that neither party did so in time.
Sky Sports News has reported that both high profile bidders have requested an extension to allow them to submit an improved offer. US-based Raine Group, who are managing the sale on behalf of the Glazer family, are thought to have granted their requests.
As of yet the length of the extension is still unknown, as is the reason for the late delay.
How much do the Glazer family want for Manchester United?
Malcolm Glazer first bought a stake in Manchester United in 2003 and over the following two years assumed full control of the club. The total cost to acquire England’s most successful club was thought to be around £800 million, but the Glazers will receive many times more than that when they eventually come to sell.
In the first round of bidding, both Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe submitted world record bids to take control of the club. The highest of the first round bids was thought to have been worth around £4.5 billion ($5.5bn) but even that was rebuffed by the owners.
It is thought that the Glazers are holding out for a figure closer to £6 billion ($7.4bn). This would smash the record for the most expensive sports team purchase, beating the £4.25 billion ($5.4bn) deal agreed for fellow Premier League side Chelsea last year.
Who will bid for Manchester United?
As it stands, Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the only two publicly declared bidders. Both parties have already submitted bids and held lengthy meetings with the United hierarchy at Old Trafford last week.
However they are far from the only ones interested in the club and it is thought that as many of eight parties have submitted bids. Some of those offers would look to invest in the club as a minority partner, rather than taking the Glazers’ controlling stake.
The two front-runners are expected to submit improved bids in a hope of securing ownership of the club. However it is also possible that a new bidder could emerge in the coming days, or that the Glazers may opt to sell a minority stake instead of relinquishing control of the club that they bought two decades ago.