A consortium from Qatar led by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has confirmed their bid to buy Manchester United. They have reportedly bid £4 billion to get complete control of the Red Devils.
Loïc Tanzi of RMC Sport claims the bid was officially submitted before the deadline on Friday. The consortium has launched a foundation called 'NINE TWO' - which is reported to be a reference to the club's legendary Class of 92.
Confirming their bid via a statement to the press, the NINE TWO Foundation said:
"Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 per cent of Manchester United Football Club. 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 statement added that the club would be debt-free, something the fans have held against The Glazers. It added:
"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."
NINE TWO Foundation wants to take the club back to its glory days, saying:
"The vision of the bid is for Manchèster 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."
Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani is a lifelong United fan, while his father, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabar Al Thani, was the Prime Minister of Qatar from 2007 to 2013.
How many bids have been submitted for Manchester United?
Apart from the NINE TWO Foundation, one other bid has been publicly confirmed for Manchester United.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe was the first to submit an offer for the Red Devils. The 70 year old is one of the richest men in Britain and was among the bidders for Chelsea when their ownership was available last year. His bid amount is undisclosed.
The Times report suggests The Glazers are looking to seal the sale of the club before Easter, with a soft deadline of 10pm (UK time) on February 18 for official interest to be formalized in writing.