Manchester United’s stock has experienced a significant surge amid rumors of a potential purchase by Qatari Sheikh Jassim, son of former emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The club had previously expressed its intention to seek new ownership, parting ways with the Glazer family, who have held a majority stake in the team since 2005. The Glazers faced criticism for burdening the club with a staggering debt of approximately $675 million.
The primary contenders for the club’s ownership are Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire CEO of Ineos, and Sheikh Jassim. Reports suggest that the Qatari representatives have conveyed their bid’s ability to clear Manchester United’s debt. According to The Athletic, Sheikh Jassim’s most recent offer, surpassing a previous bid of $6 billion, has captured attention and generated substantial anticipation.
Sheikh Jassim, aged 44, stepped aside from becoming the emir in 2013, abdicating the position to his younger brother, Tamim, due to his lack of interest in the role. With this potential acquisition, Sheikh Jassim aims to make a mark in the world of football and solidify his family’s influence.
Interestingly, Manchester United’s pursuit of new ownership coincided with the announcement of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the club. The Portuguese star, widely regarded as one of the most valuable active players, made a move to the Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC.
Cechoed the criticisms faced by Qatar during the 2022 World Cup, where human rights organizations highlighted the mistreatment of migrant workers during the preparation for the historic event held in the Middle East.
Adding fuel to the speculation, Qatari news outlet Al-Watan, owned by Sheikh Jassim’s father, took to Twitter on Monday to announce his successful bid for Manchester United. The tweet further hinted at an impending public announcement regarding this acquisition.
The market’s response to these rumors has been remarkable. Shares of Manchester United’s New York Stock Exchange-listed stock skyrocketed over 12%, reaching $22.50 by 9:55 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Investors and football enthusiasts alike are eagerly awaiting official confirmation and details regarding Sheikh Jassim’s bid and its potential implications for the club’s future.
As the club approaches a potential turning point in its ownership, fans, and stakeholders remain hopeful that the incoming ownership will not only alleviate the financial burden but also lead Manchester United into a prosperous and successful era on and off the field.