‘Twas only a matter of weeks ago that, courtesy of infamous whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Manchester United found themselves to have been the subject of a $1bn takeover bid from Than Shwe, i.e. the despotic conker-box that currently heads up Burma’s totalitarian military junta.
Skip forward a fortnight or so and United are once again being linked with yet another monolithic buy-out, though this time at the hands of any altogether more placid organisation – namely the royal family of Qatar, who name Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani as their emminent figurehead.
The Sun (amongst several others…) are carrying the EXCLUSIVE! news today that United’s collective owners, them thar rootin’-tootin’ Glazer boys, are thought to be assessing their options and are understandably tempted by the prospective ‘double your money’ deal that has been put on the table by the Arab collective.
The whole story is precipitated by quotes taken from a Q&A session conducted by United’s non-executive director Mike Edelson at the Maccabi Sports Club in Prestwich, wherein the Old Trafford bigwig let slip that his American superiors are definitely planning to offload the club at some point in the future:
“It’s no secret that, at some time, the [Glazers] will sell.”
According to the red-top’s report, Edelson’s comments have ‘thrown United’s future into doubt’, though the tabloid neglected to mention the fact that the club exec actually finished the afore-quoted sentence by adding:
“…but that will be a long way down the line. Not until long after I am dead, maybe another 20 or 30 years.”
Hey-ho. Such is the wont of the tabloid agenda these days.
The Sun continue to suggest that the ‘door is now open’ for the Qatari’s to complete their fabled £1.5 billion takeover, a sum that would see the much-loved Yanks recoup over double the amount that they initially invested in the club almost five-and-a-half years ago (a total approximating around £790 million at the bottom line).
Thankfully, an otherwise anonymous ‘Middle East football finance expert’ serendipitously passed through the SunSport offices this morning, and was able to illuminate and elucidate on the paper’s behalf:
“They have made tentative moves (into buying United) before with little success, but this time it looks like they could be going for it.
Now they have landed the 2022 World Cup, the country wants to expand its influence in the game across the globe.”
Aren’t Middle East football finance experts a useful thing to have around?