Saudi Arabia is apparently getting into the takeover gamble for the traditional English club Manchester United. The British Daily Newspaper DailyTelegraph reports an interest from the Saudis, who as a consortium have already bought Premier League rivals Newcastle United for the equivalent of 360 million euros. Interested parties have until Friday to submit an offer.
This could lead to a bet with neighboring Qatar: The Guardian recently reported that Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was also interested in United. However, he had already acquired French champions Paris St. Germain in 2011 via the state fund Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), so a full takeover of Manchester would not be permitted under current UEFA regulations.
United has a history of working with Saudi Telecom, the Asian country’s largest telecommunications company. At league rivals Newcastle, the consortium that owns 80 percent is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
The American Glazer family, who completed their takeover of the 20-time England champions in 2005, announced in November that they were open to a sale. British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s company Ineos is the only bidder to have publicly expressed interest.
Allegedly, the Glazers demand 5.6 billion euros, a sale for this amount would be tantamount to the most expensive deal in sports history. United have not won the Premier League since 2013 and have not clinched a title since 2017. Erik ten Hag’s team is currently third in the table.