Manchester United has been up for sale for quite some time now, but the competition has now gotten stiffer after the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, expressed his interest to buy the club. He is willing to splurge up to £4.5bn to acquire a majority stake, an amount that is only slightly less than the Glazer family’s asking price of £6bn.
The Glazer family has held the ownership rights for 17 years but decided to put the club on sale last year in November. While the early days of this ownership saw unprecedented success under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, the last ten years or so have been marked by continuous frustrations and distrust among fans.
Through Qatar Sports Investments, the Emir already owns France’s biggest football club PSG. Human rights groups like Amnesty International have urged the Premier League to tighten its ownership rules in order to prevent “sportswashing” exercises by the Gulf nations.
Net Worth Of Emir Of Qatar
It’s obvious that none of the competing parties will be able to match the Qatari offer. The family, headed by Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has an estimated net worth of US$335 billion, and their investment portfolios go beyond the sporting field, from the motor giant Volkswagen and Barclays Bank to London’s Shard skyscraper New York’s Empire State Building.
Al Thani inherited the title of emir in 2013, after his father relieved himself from the post and his elder brother renounced the position. The entire family lives in the Royal Palace, Doha, which is stretched over hundreds of kilometers and comprises over two dozen lavish rooms, 500 cars, and numerous personal jets.
UEFA Rule That Stops Qatar From Owning Two Clubs
As mentioned, the group already owns a majority stake in PSG. Though there’s no restriction in terms of the number of clubs across the world a person or firm can own, the UEFA’s ‘Independence of Club’ rules prevents teams controlled by the same owner to compete in the Champions League. As the group already owns PSG, they might get into trouble if the Champions League pits the French club against Manchester United.
The Qatari group is aware of such regulations and they are trying to find solutions. The obvious way to escape this restriction is to invest in Manchester United through a different firm. As far as Manchester United is concerned, the club will gain a massive boost from Qatari investment, as it will give an inflated purse to manager Erik ten Hag in players’ recruitment, which, in turn, will help them compete with top clubs.