“There will probably be three or four serious bidders for Manchester United before tonight’s 10 pm deadline”, said Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, amid what will be the largest takeover in football history.
With emerging bidders yet to join the race combined with those already in it, fans will have a hard time deciding who they think is best suited for their beloved club, with each of them having their own unique pros and cons.
Earlier today, Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic posted the results of a poll which asked the public who their favoured bidder would be. In what came as a shock to many, investors linked to Qatar only received 17% of the votes, with self-proclaimed United fan, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, stealing the show with 66%.
If Ratcliffe’s loyalties do in fact lie at Old Trafford, he would seem like an ideal option — an owner we hope would be worlds apart from the current careless reign of the Glazer family. That said, his wealth would be massively minored by a Qatari bid, which, despite the clear ethical concerns, is favoured by many fans.
Lucky for those fans, Chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank, and son of former Qatar Prime Minister, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber Al Thani, has just released a statement regarding his first bid for the club. The statement makes all the right promises, vowing to “restore the club to its former glory, both on and off the pitch, and will focus on putting fans back at the heart of Manchester United Football Club.”
When speaking to one match-going fan, it was made clear that a Middle-Eastern owner could be the only way the club keeps up with the competition, needing the large amounts of money to “compete with the likes of City and Newcastle, because that is the way football is going”.
It’s true, money makes the football world go around. At the same time, the fan then emphasised how a genuine care for the club is just as important. “Any owners that have the priorities of the club at heart suit, because we have managed to outspend most even with the Glazers.”
A concern with the Qatar ownership would be the operation of the club, with Qatar’s running of Paris Saint-Germain being far from ideal. Fans will be cautious of this, with one quoting how PSG’s “scattergun approach” of aiming for the biggest names makes them sceptical of their competency.
This, however, may not be difficult to navigate, with fans holding Ten Hag in very high esteem. “I feel as if Ten Hag would not allow that to happen and a professional setup would be introduced to ensure we buy the correct players”. This idea of perfecting the recruitment process has plagued the club for years, with extortionate fees paid for underperforming players.
With more bids expected to come, there will continue to be debates on who the right option will be, but it is safe to say that no matter who it is, fans will happy to see the back of the Glazer Family.
So let me get this right staff and the women’s team are objecting to the return of a innocent man to the men’s team but no word of them about this takeover bid from Qatar. Maybe they should check out the record of their potential new owners and speak up.