Manchester United takeover: InNewCL Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol answers your questions | football news

Manchester United takeover: InNewCL Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol answers your questions | football news

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A possible takeover of Manchester United continues to dominate the sports news agenda.

Bids to buy the club from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group were confirmed on Friday, while it was revealed on Saturday that US hedge fund Elliott Management had also submitted a proposal for possible funding.

But is this a full takeover? Will United’s current owners, the Glazer family, sell the club outright, what could that mean for spending in the summer transfer window and when will we know the outcome?

You sent in your questions and InNewCL Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol answered them. We have selected the best below…

Credit - AP Photo/InNewCL Sports News

Image: Kaveh Solhekol has answered your questions about the potential Manchester United takeover

‘Qatar the Favorites | Takeover ideally completed by summer’

Q: Who do you think is most likely to be successful with their offering?

KS: “I think the Qataris are ahead at the moment. I understand they are confident and have the best offer on the table, not just in terms of price but also in terms of their vision for the club and the team – and how they get into the men’s and women’s teams, the stadium and would invest in local renewal.

“It has to be said that the Qataris are favourites. They have the money to complete the deal and they are confident there will be no problems with UEFA and the Premier League.”

Q: When will a deal be finalized for the club?

KS: “I think ideally it would suit all parties to make sure it’s done before the end of the season. From United’s perspective, going into another transfer window without ownership being settled wouldn’t make sense because the Glazers won’t want to spend money on the window without knowing if they’re going to stay or go, but it all depends whether they really want to sell.”

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United We Stand editor Andy Mitten reacts to the news of Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s offer to buy Manchester United

Q: When will we know who the preferred bidder is?

KS: “If there are only two bidders who want to buy the club outright, it shouldn’t be too long before Raine and the Glazers grant them full access to the club’s accounts.

“Bidders haven’t heard from Raine as of Monday morning and you have to keep in mind that New York is five hours behind the UK.”

Q: Can INEOS compete with Qatari funds?

KS: “The simple answer to that question is no. The Qataris have almost unlimited funds, but the difference is that they only have unlimited funds if you consider this a state-backed takeover bid.

“We have been told that Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani is acting in a personal capacity and he will not overpay United.”

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WATCH FREE: Highlights of Manchester United’s win over Leicester in the Premier League

“It depends on what the glaziers want | They won’t lower the price’

Q: Can US hedge fund Elliott Management give the Glazers what they want?

KS: “Elliot Management’s proposal differs from that of the other two bidders because they are not trying to buy the club. Instead, they are willing to provide funding for another bid or provide funds that would allow the Glazers to redevelop Old Trafford.

“So it all depends on what the Glazers want to do. Do you think now is the best time to sell the club or will selling a minority stake make more sense and add even more value to United going forward.”

Q: Are there no offers from Saudi Arabia?

KS: “As far as we know, there was no offer from Saudi Arabia until this morning (Monday). However, the bidders don’t have to announce that they’ve made an offer, and Raine keeps her cards close to her chest.

“There was initial interest from Saudi Arabia, but we have not received any information that they have done anything … yet.”

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Kaveh Solhekol explains how much the Glazer family could make from the sale of Manchester United

Q: Which is more likely – a full takeover or the Glazers providing some funding and maintaining control?

KS: “It all depends on what the Glazer family wants to do. They may well have differing opinions as to what the best outcome of this process is but there is so much pressure now from the fans to go that you would think it would be difficult for them to put £5billion in for rejecting a club that has a lot of money to spend on in the future.

Q: How realistic is it that the acquisition doesn’t go through and the Glazers decide to stay?

KS: “With United’s stock price doubling since the Glazers effectively put the club up for sale, you’d think now would be a good time to cash in and walk away with an incredible profit.

“Nevertheless, it is ultimately their decision and while we are told the bidders will not overpay, it remains the case that the Glazers will not sell United for less than they believe is worth.”

Q: Is there a chance the Glazers will lower the price of the racquet?

KS: “Not a chance at all. United’s market cap on the New York Stock Exchange has doubled since November, when the Glazers effectively put the club up for sale.

“The general consensus seems to be that they are looking for between £6billion and £8billion and I don’t think anyone will pay that. It all depends on whether the Glazers are willing to sell for around £5bn.”

Q: Do you think Gary Neville might be right when he says the Glazers prefer investing to selling?

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Gary Neville believes some Manchester United fans are concerned the Glazers will stay at the club

KS: “Gary Neville might be right but the Glazers have hired Raine to lead this process and they have been soliciting offers for the club.

“Two compelling offers have been made but the Glazers have to decide what they want to do. A large proportion of United fans have already fought against them before buying the club.

“The Glazers have to decide if now is the best time to sell because, make no mistake, United have a lot of money to spend on it.

“They have to decide if they want to be at the center of a rebuild that will take years.”

‘Sheik Jassim would settle debts | No sign of Elon Musk interest

Q: Will United’s debts be written off by buying the club or will they still be there when new owners take over?

KS: “The Qataris have committed to paying off all of United’s debts. The Glazers bought United in a leveraged buyout of £790m in 2005 and the debt they have placed on the club still stands at £515m.

“Also don’t forget that the acquisition cost United more than £1billion in interest and dividends. As for the Qataris, there would be no credit, no debt, no dividends and all profits would be reinvested in the club and local community.

“As for Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group, if they were to successfully buy it, there would be no debt incumbent on the club.”

Q: Would Sir Jim Ratcliffe really have the means to do all of this and buy the club outright?

KS: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe is confident he has the tools to transform United on and off the pitch. Of course you’d expect him to spend less on the club than the Qataris in the future, but throwing money at a problem isn’t necessarily always the best solution.

“It doesn’t mean the Qataris are only going to throw money at United. I think their vision for the club is more than just a quick fix.”

Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m. Kick-off 4:30 p.m

Q: Is Elon Musk really in the running or is this just another rumor?

KS: “Elon Musk was always a wild card in all of this. There was a report in the Daily Mail last week saying he was considering making an offer, but he was unusually quiet about any interest and we have heard nothing about him making a bid.

“He claims to be a United fan and could easily access the funds to buy the club. But he said last week that he has enough to do with Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX right now.”

“Significant funds available for remittances | Focus on young players

Q: Would a sale be likely before the summer transfer window?

KS: “That would be the ideal situation for everyone involved. After only signing loans in January, United are expected to be busy in the summer. Ideally, Erik ten Hag should know who is signing the cheques.”

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Kaveh Solhekol explains why Manchester United’s share price has doubled since November and what that could mean for a possible sale of the club

Q: Can United fans expect big-money signings?

KS: “I don’t think the Qataris or Sir Jim Ratcliffe would go crazy in the transfer market. There would most likely be a restructuring in recruitment and significant funding would be made available to Erik ten Hag, but I would not expect the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar to be playing Paris Saint-Germain against Manchester any time soon Swap United.

“My information is that going forward the focus would be on youth. That’s not to say United won’t sign players over a certain age, but the overall strategy would be to focus on buying the best young players.

“United will sign a striker in the summer, no matter who owns the club. That has always been a priority.”

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