Gary Neville won’t oppose Qatari takeover at Manchester United

Former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville believes Manchester United fans have been ‘mentally harmed’ by the debt the Glazers have inflicted on the club.

At this moment in time, the intentions of the bidders are relatively unknown, but the coming weeks should be telling. They all want to restore past glorious and that will take a lot of work.

Gary Neville doesn’t believe fans should be too concerned by a Qatari takeover because the ‘horse has bolted’ in regards to takeovers elsewhere in the Premier League. What he means by this is the Premier League hasn’t got a leg to stand on after permitting similar takeovers at Man City and Newcastle.

Of course, we shouldn’t shy away from the concerns that come with state-ownership in football, but nothing has been done about it in the past. Why should we expect anything different now?

“There is some concern,” Neville said on his podcast, as quoted by The Metro.

“[But] they want a debt-free club. They’ve become harmed mentally by debt, Man Utd fans, over these last few years.

“There’s a feeling they want an ownership that can compete with the Middle East estates we have in this league, which is Saudi Arabia at Newcastle and Abu Dhabi at Man City.

“From my point of view, there’s a white paper coming out later this week from the government. I know that might seem like really boring stuff around legislation through parliament of Tracey Crouch’s report and the independent regulator but I honestly believe at this moment in time, the EFL are powerless, the FA are powerless. The Premier League is stuck in a lot of their governance because they’ve got 20 different owners with 20 different mindsets and vested interests and self- interests and we do need, most importantly, whether it be for Man Utd, Man City or the whole league, we need to know what is expected of owners in this country.

“We need new sustainability rules, we need clear direction for what is the criteria for an owner to come into this country because no one knows the criteria.

‘We definitely need a new distribution for the EFL and for the rest of English football, we need 100 per cent real-time financial monitoring, we need to look at the owner funding model and see what can be done with that so we have sustainability and we don’t have wages being increased by nation states that have got trillions of pounds – but still keeps a competitive field in the Premier League.

“Keep a cap and control on the clubs like Man Utd, Man City and Newcastle, who may have nation-state involvement, but allow other clubs to come up to their level of spending if they’ve got a wealthy owner that wants to come in, ie: Jack Walker at Blackburn all those years ago.

“There is a lot to go into when you start talking about all these issues but my priority at this moment in time is to get a regulator into English football so there is some level of controls brought in for whoever the owners are.

“We can talk about state ownership at Man Utd but we have already got two state-funded clubs in Newcastle and Man City. They’ve been allowed to come in already, so I find it difficult to say Man Utd shouldn’t on the other hand have a Qatari ownership.

“The horse has bolted in that respect, when Abu Dhabi came into Man City 15 years ago and Saudi Arabia came into Newcastle two years ago.”

The three known bidders for Manchester United are set to engage in a mega-money auction in the next few weeks as the race to buy the biggest football club in the world intensifies.

So far INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani have issued statements pending their interest in acquiring a contract stake in Manchester United.

Furthermore, we have US hedge fund firm Elliot Advisory expressing interest in financial a bid for United, which could give Joel and Avram Glazer a chance to remain as majority owners — which is something Manchester United fans definitely don’t want.

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