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Manchester United takeover: Sir Jim Ratcliffe bids for 69 per cent of club as Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani attends Old Trafford games

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani among the bidders to buy Man Utd from the Glazer family; Man Utd Supporters Trust have also noted concerns over debt levels and the human rights records of any potential new owners

Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim have made bids for Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has bid for 69 per cent of Manchester United after offers were submitted ahead of the Friday deadline.

Sixty-nine per cent is exactly how much is currently owned by the Glazers. The family would not be involved if Sir Jim Ratcliffe was to buy the club.

Ratcliffe may also seek to buy the rest of the shares, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, in future.

Although there is no mention on infrastructure in his statement, Sky Sports News understands Ratcliffe is committed to redeveloping Old Trafford.

As previously reported, he is believed to have been working with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan - but any debts from the takeover would not be loaded onto the club, as was the case with the Glazers.

Ratcliffe is a Manchester United fan, but also tried to buy Chelsea last summer.

The Glazers
Image: The Glazers are looking to sell Man Utd with bids submitted

His company, the petrochemicals multinational INEOS, have also been accused of greenwashing - using sport to improve their corporate image and reputation.

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Ratcliffe also owns cycling team INEOS Grenadiers, Ligue 1 side Nice, FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League club, and owns a third of the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

Meanwhile, Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani has been to Old Trafford and other United games.

He is confident he has made a compelling bid and that it is not linked to Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) nor the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

The Qatari bid for United would wipe out all the club's debts, which still stand at £515m net following the Glazer family's leveraged buyout in 2005 of £790m, funded with borrowed money.

Sky Sports News is told the Qatari bid believes it is the best offer on the table, not just in terms of price but also regarding the commitment in investing in the men's and women's teams, the stadium and training ground and the redevelopment of the area around Old Trafford.

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Kaveh Solhekol gives the latest after Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has made a 'substantial' bid for Manchester United

It was revealed on Saturday night that US hedge fund Elliott Management also lodged a proposal regarding Manchester United with the Raine Group before Friday's 10pm soft deadline.

The proposal is not a bid for Manchester United, but is a proposal for possible financing.

The proposal could involve Elliott taking a stake in United or providing debt financing, or a mix of both.

The Glazer family are seeking a full or partial sale or a partnership with third parties. Elliott manage £46bn of assets and owned AC Milan from 2018 until August last year.

MUST notes concerns over debt levels and human rights records

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The Telegraph's chief football correspondent Jason Burt and the Daily Mail North-East football correspondent Craig Hope discuss the bids made for Manchester United

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have released a statement as bids for the club are being considered, reiterating the demands they had previously set out for any new owners.

They also note concerns over debt levels and the human rights records of any potential new owners.

A statement read: "MUST was very clear about our list of asks for any new owner of Manchester United.

"These were to restore the club to the top of European football, invest in the teams, the wider club and the stadium, to ensure financial stability, and to work in true partnership with fans at all times.

"These principles have been backed to date by 150 fan groups from all across the world. The open letter to bidders is already published.

"Any bid will be judged against these criteria, but with the news of the specific bids coming in further considerations arise.

Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad J.J. Al Thani has bid for Manchester United
Image: Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani has also attended matches at Old Trafford, having submitted a bid for Man Utd

"There are questions about sporting integrity given the exceptionally close links between some bidders and the owners of other European clubs including PSG and Nice.

"There are also questions about whether any bids will also be based on high levels of debt. We also note the importance that any owner respects the rights of all people, particularly women and the LGBTQ+ community. Concerns have been raised by other fans groups which we fully support.

"We urge all bidders to open a dialogue with fans groups alongside the bidding process with the club, in order to discuss their proposals including the above issues.

"Finally, everyone can see the progress the team is making under Erik ten Hag. After the frustrations of the last decade, it is clear that enormous strides are being taken. Any prospective bidder needs to explicitly commit to backing Erik and his plans to restore United to glory."

How is Ineos' ownership at Nice viewed?

ESPN'S Julien Laurens on The Transfer Show last month:

"Ineos bought Nice in August 2019 for €100m. The intentions have been very good, to be fair.

"You can see he wants to do well. The investment has been good. On the Ligue 1 and Nice scale, they have spent €200m in those three-and-a-half years they have been at the club.

"Before Man Utd fans say that is what we need to spend in one summer, not three years, Nice do not have the revenue Man Utd have. Ligue 1 doesn't bring in the same money the Premier League brings in. You have to remember the scale.

"They have invested a lot of money in youth players and, to a certain extent, that has worked. However, in terms of results on the pitch it has been a bit underwhelming.

"They finished sixth in the first season under Patrick Vieira, ninth and then fifth under Christophe Galtier, who left to go to PSG. Then this season currently is a bad one because this is the thing, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made some wrong choices. Lucien Favre was brought in as manager and he was the wrong one.

"He is clearly still learning but you can't deny Ratcliffe loves football, and I think he wants to do well in every club he owns."

Analysis: Sportswashing vs Greenwashing?

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Sky Sports Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol provides an update on the current bids for Manchester United

Sky Sports News' Kaveh Solhekol:

"We've got two owners fighting it out for Manchester United. I think there will be developments and we will hear about more bidders but these are very different bids. Qatar, people who have almost unlimited wealth, who don't even need the backing of investment banks to do this deal - and then we have Sir Jim Ratcliffe who is going to emphasise the fact he's British, that he was born in Greater Manchester, that he has been a Manchester United supporter all his life.

"The Qataris are saying they want to make Manchester United great again, I think Sir Jim will say, 'I want to put the Manchester back into Manchester United' and it's important Manchester United, a great English institution is owned by an English businessman.

"If the battle turns out to be between Qatar and INEOS, will it be a question of sportswashing versus greenwashing?

"Qatar will have serious questions to answer about human rights, LGBTQ+ rights and also the ownership structure of the bid.

"INEOS will have questions to answer about whether they use sport acquisitions to greenwash their image as an operator of polluting industries."

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