Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, has launched a bid to buy Manchester United, he confirmed in a statement Friday.
Qatar Islamic Bank’s assets are estimated at more than £40 billion ($48bn) and Al Thani is the son of former Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
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However, Al Thani — who said he is a United fan — bid below the club’s valuation of £6bn ($7.2bn) set by owners the Glazer family, sources told ESPN.
“Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100% of Manchester United Football Club,” Al Thani’s statement read.
“The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch, and — above all — will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football club once more.
“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports.
“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world.
“More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.”
Al Thani is the second person to confirm his intention to buy the Premier League club, after British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS.
Ratcliffe, a boyhood United fan who made an offer to buy Chelsea last year, purchased French Ligue 1 team Nice in 2019. He is ranked as Britain’s richest person with a reported worth of £9.8bn ($11.8bn).
Merchant bankers Raine Group, acting on behalf of the Glazer Family, have set a Friday 10 p.m. UK (5 p.m. ET) soft deadline for offers.
The Glazers have owned United since 2005 when they completed a leveraged buyout and have faced widespread supporter unrest over the last 18 years.
They revealed in November 2022 that they are looking at “strategic alternatives” including outside investment or a sale.