Qatar has reportedly offered to buy out the owners of the popular English football club Manchester United for £1.6 billion, or $2.5 billion, the Daily Mirror has reported.
It is a move that has the support of Man U fans who oppose the Glazers, the American family that owns that team and is weakening its resolve against the takeover, “Middle Eastern sources” told the Mirror.
The Glazers’ tenure has provoked anger from fans due to their practice of borrowing money set against the club’s assets, leaving United liable for high interest payments on loans.
The deal might give United similar spending power to rivals City, who are owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family – though UEFA’s impending Financial Fair Play rules could limit them.
The Mirror believes a Qatari delegation, headed by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, will be in Manchester on Monday hoping to conclude a deal.
There are a few fishy things about this report.
Firstly, it is doubtful that the Emir would travel to the UK next week, while the decision for Palestinian statehood is being decided at the United Nations in New York.
Secondly, Man U has announced plans to file an initial public offering by year-end. During the IPO, the club hopes to sell at least 30 percent of itself, worth about $3.8 billion, Bloomberg has reported.
And finally, rumors about a Qatari takeover of Man U have been swirling around for ages. The only thing that changes is the price tag of the club, which just keeps going up.
Will speculation become fact this time around? What do you guys think?