Bid proposals for Manchester United takeover raise questions amongst fans

Manchester United fans have voiced their opposition to plans by a Qatari-backed group to take over the club.

Qatar Islamic Bank Chairman, Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani bid for the club on February 17, the same day as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company INEOS also threw their hat into the ring.

Whilst Ratcliffe has proposed to buy the Glazers’ 69% share of the club, Al Thani has proposed an offer for 100% ownership of the Red Devils.

However, it is believed that the Glazers may now hold out on accepting an offer as they hope to secure a sale close to £6 billion, much higher than the £4.5 billion offers made.

As a result, it is expected that a bid may not be accepted and new owners not announced until May.

Opinion amongst the United fanbase is divided. There is public approval for both Ratcliffe and Al Thani, with investment, management and human rights at the forefront of the debate. 

Peter Christensen, a member of the Danish fan group ‘Djaevlenes Advokater’ (Devil’s Advocate), believes the Qatari bid is ‘a disaster’.

Mr Christensen said: “The bid has nothing to do with the values, the history and the culture of the club.”

When asked on his views on United’s current owners, the Glazers, Mr Christensen added: “I would rather have the Glazers for the rest of my life than be misused by a state. I would rather see United play Sunday league than under the Qatari state.”

One supporter selling scarves outside Old Trafford believes that Ratcliffe would be the more suitable option. He said: “I think he has got more interest in the club. With the Qatari’s it’s just about money, like the Glazers.”

Matchday scarves are usually in high demand leading up to games such as last week’s fixture versus Barcelona. Image credit: Callum Sutherland

However, other fans feel that the Al Thani bid would be more suitable. One fan visiting from the United States said: “From a money perspective, the Qataris are a better option.”

His father was in agreement, adding: “They still need to bring in quality players and money would help do that.”

Although Peter Christensen strongly opposes the idea of the bid coming from Doha, he believes Ratcliffe would bring more of a management risk.

A number of fans wandered around the grounds surrounding Old Trafford, snapping pictures of the stadium and statues. Image credit: Callum Sutherland

With regard to which bid could be successful, Journalist Nizaar Kinsella said: “The Qatari bid seems to be the most likely to win, of course Qatar is always a controversial subject.”

Whatever the outcome, this issue will remain a hot topic amongst Manchester United fans. In particular, questions will be asked over human rights abuses in Qatar and the quality of management from Jim Ratcliffe.

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