English giants Manchester United look to take the next step toward the Glazer family selling up as the club is set to welcome a cadre of prospective buyers to Old Trafford to look under the financial hood in the northwest of England.
A shortlist headlined by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been given clearance by the club’s Wall Street bank Raine representatives to take a glance at the financials with a view of levying further formal offers, with the Glazer’s hoping to receive as close to £6bn as possible after the first round of bids reportedly falling short of £5bn.
With reports from The Times’ Matt Lawton detailing possible redevelopment of both Old Trafford and the club’s Carrington Training Complex thought to come with a possible price tag of close to £2bn, this could strengthen the Glazer’s position regarding the financial mark they hope can be met.
More from Lawton: “Raine, the New York bank appointed by the Glazers to sell, appear to be employing a process similar to the one used to sell Chelsea last year for Roman Abramovich. That involved a series of meetings at Stamford Bridge and talks at Old Trafford are expected to begin in the next fortnight.
Ratcliffe, who is being advised by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, has said he is looking to begin by purchasing the Glazers’ 69 percent stake in the club. While Sheikh Jassim, who is a member of the extended Qatar royal family, has said he is prepared to make a debt-free purchase for a 100 percent stake.”
As the Premier League’s biggest club ground, redevelopment of the Theatre of Dreams would be a massive feather in the cap of any new owner/ownership group that is looking to take the reins from the Glazers, while improving Carrington and making it up to par in comparison to facilities at rival clubs Manchester City, Arsenal, and others, such measures that can be taken could go a very long way in re-establishing United as the preeminent force in English football.