Sir Jim Ratcliffe has admitted he cannot even contemplate the idea of failing as owner of Manchester United, with the takeover process continuing behind the scenes.
Ratcliffe and main bidding rival Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani have both lodged huge offers for United to try and convince the Glazer family to sell. Ratcliffe’s offer, made on behalf of his company INEOS, is for a majority share, whereas Sheikh Jassim is pursuing a 100% takeover.
The takeover process is approaching almost an entire year and there is still no certainty that the Glazer family will even accept any offers. There are concerns that their valuation of the club could prove too high, but despite reports suggesting they have pulled the plug on the process, 90min understands that talks remain on.
“The Manchester United bid would have been unthinkable two or three years ago if we hadn’t had some of the experiences – some quite difficult experiences – with Lausanne and Nice,” he explained.
“You can’t really contemplate acquiring a brand like Manchester United and failing because the failure is just far too public and excruciating in a deal like that.”
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The INEOS bid offers the Glazer family the opportunity to remain at Old Trafford in a reduced capacity and is therefore not as lucrative as the bid on the table from Sheikh Jassim, which is understood to be worth £6bn.
The Glazers have not yet named a formal asking price for the club but 90min understands the American family value United at closer to the £7.7bn fee attributed to NFL giants the Dallas Cowboys, and so there are concerns over whether a takeover of any sort will go ahead.
Raine Group, the organisation managing the sale, had been aiming to wrap proceedings up by November – one year after the decision was made to entertain interest.
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