Manchester United close to bid from Qatari investors: reports

The Premier League club team ranked 19th on list of world’s most valuable sports’ teams

Manchester United is reportedly being sold, with Qatari investors preparing to make a bid.

Multiple reports citing sources familiar with the deal say the investor consortium will submit an initial bid for the Premier League football club by the end of the week, and that officials from the Qatar Investment Authority are helping with preparations for the bid.

"Fans have been wanting the Glazers to sell Manchester United for years and now it looks like their wish could come true. Having not won the Premier League since 2013, left its stadium in a shabby state and loaded up on debt, Manchester United has not lived up to its reputation as a winning football club of late, although results on the pitch are improving under Dutch manager Erik ten Hag," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, told FOX Business.

United is third in the league on 46 points after 23 games, two points behind Manchester City and five adrift of leaders Arsenal.

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Leeds United's Wilfried Gnonto makes an attempt to score during the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road, Leeds, England, Feb.12, 2023.  (AP Photo/Jon Super / AP Images)

According to Forbes' list of most valuable sports’ teams, Manchester United’s $4.5 billion valuation was good for the 19 slot, sandwiched between two National Football teams — the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins. The Dallas Cowboys, sit atop the list at $8 billion. 

Last month, Jim Ratcliffe's company INEOS formally entered the bidding process to buy Manchester United after the club's U.S. owners, the Glazer family, said in November they had begun looking at options including new investment or a potential sale. 

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Earlier this month, the Daily Mail newspaper reported that Qatari investors are planning to make a huge bid to buy Premier League club Manchester United. 

The Daily Mail report stated the interested investors are separate from Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which owns Paris St Germain, and that the money will come from an "individual fund" rather than a sovereign wealth fund.

QSI is a state-backed body founded by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, but European soccer governing body UEFA has strict integrity rules regarding multi-club ownership.

Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho, right, celebrates with his teammate Bruno Fernandes after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road, Leeds, England, (AP Photo/Jon Super / AP Images)

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No club participating in its competitions is allowed to "directly or indirectly hold or deal in the securities or shares of any other club".

"Football clubs in general have proved to be terrible investments over the years, and although Manchester United’s time on the London Stock Exchange proved lucrative for investors, its spell on the NASDAQ had been fairly fallow as the shares had done nothing over a period of a decade until news of the potential Glazer disposal became known," Mould told FOX Business.

"Should the club find a new owner, the demands on its cash will extend far beyond securing the best players, so deep, deep pockets will be required," he added.

Reuters contributed to this report.