The Red Devils are up for sale. The unpopularity of the Glazer family is well documented and it seems at last they are willing to let go of their pot of gold. In a world which now has 2668 billionaires, suitors haven’t been scarce at all, in fact bids have come from everywhere with the main ones being Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Elliott Investment Management(US FUND MANAGERS)and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar the once I believe should be the one. The irony is that the one that makes sense is now the most controversial. Where is the controversy coming from? The Sheikh is a former politician in Qatar , having served as Prime Minister. That political connection has sent the sports washing conspiracy geeks on overdrive. That doesn’t outweigh the benefits of such a deal. Part of the gripe the United fans had with the Glazers was their penchant of declaring dividend(even in trying times such as the coronavirus pandemic) when it makes sense to reinvest the profits into the club so that funds are available for transfer market. Qatari owners of other clubs in soccer have been frugal when it comes to paying themselves at the expense of the club. Take the QSi consortium that owns PSG who poured over 1.4billion US dollars on players. The human rights and political issues are issues yes but for the good of the club, fans should be willing to accept that risk. Those socio-environmental issues have been so loudly presented by social activists(LGBTIAS+,etc) not only concerning this bid but other sports in which Middle Eastern power figures are involved such that FIFA is mulling introducing a Sustainability Manager to handle these issues.
What must be considered is that the cultures and religions of the West differs a lot from the rest of the world ,such as that tolerance and acceptance is needed if progress is to be achieved. Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the fan favorite and the emotional choice. It doesn’t necessarily mean his bid is bad. He is a life long United fan and will certainly have their long term interests at heart in his decision making. Here is where his bid falls short. He only bid 69% of the club which means he has to deal with whoever gets the other 31%. As you know too many cooks tend to spoil the broth, different agendas and motives may clash and guess who suffers? The Sheikh is bidding for the whole team 100%. On paper, at least my shiny paper, the Elliott I.G bid looks the weakest. Their bid comes in late which gives the impression that its hurried and unorganized. However Fund Managers have the unique advantage of having a large pool of wells to drink form, that is they have large number of big clients who have invested huge funds with them so the tap might not get dry if my drift is got. However like the Ratcliffe bid , these big clients may not want their money invested in risky projects(yes some don’t think investing in a sports team is a wise investment), like what happened with the pandemic, misalignment of wages with earnings which sends teams into administration. So putting aside the “human rights” issue, the strongest bid is from the Sheikh and United fans should excited when(oops if) he is successful.