Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have both made what are expected to be their final offers to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family, according to the PA news agency.
The deadline for those wanting to make a third bid for the Premier League club was 10pm on Friday night, with the two main parties quickly submitting their bids.
It is understood that the offer from Sheikh Jassim, chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank and son of a former prime minister of Qatar, includes a commitment to invest significant sums in capital and infrastructure and would remove all debt from the club.
Manchester-born INEOS owner Ratcliffe has also made an updated offer for the club.
Sheikh Jassim was the first prospective owner to publicly confirm a bid during the first round in February.
In November, United announced that the board was exploring strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth, with a full sale option being considered.
The Glazer family who own the club are said to value United at £6bn and the Raine Group has been brought in to oversee the process that facilitated the sale of Chelsea.
The first quarter of the year was initially recognized as a key moment in a process that has reverberated into the latter stages of what has been a promising season on the field.
February’s soft deadline was followed by a second deadline last month for those who moved forward, with Raine then asking interested parties for their third and final offer on April 28.
Bloomberg reported on the eve of the deadline that the bidders were being asked to clarify the source of their money, the planned financial models and the debts that would be secured against the club.
In addition to Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe, Carlyle, Elliott Management, Ares Management and Sixth Street are reported to have submitted minority investment proposals.
It was also reported this week that an option on the table could see Ratcliffe take a controlling stake of more than 50%, with Avram and Joel Glazer retaining a combined 20%.
In the wake of that story, 1958 – a group of United supporters who rose to fame last year – posted on Twitter: “If you sleep with Glazer. You are a Glazer. The fans will have their say on Sunday. FULL SALE ONLY.
United fans have made their fury known at the Glazers since their leveraged takeover in 2005 and 1958 has brought fresh protests against them in the last year.
Banners against the Glazers were seen at Wembley in last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout win against Brighton and a protest is expected at Sunday’s Premier League home match against Aston Villa.
Departing central Manchester at 11.45am, the march will continue towards Old Trafford and will result in an 18-minute boycott of the match.
«We boycott the game for 18 minutes,» said 1958. «One minute for every year the Glazers have brought our club down.»
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