Qatar Sports Investments was mulling over the possibility of purchasing a minority share in either Manchester United or another Premier League club.
It has been claimed that Manchester United has begun discussions with investors from Qatar. This comes as rumors continue to circulate about the potential new owners of one of the most successful clubs in the Premier League.
In November, the American Glazer family, who had finished their takeover of the 20-time English champions in 2005, declared that they were open to the possibility of selling the club or investing in it.
In the past month, the Ineos firm, which is owned by the British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has officially entered the contest to buy the club. This makes Ineos the only bidder to publicly announce an interest in the team.
It is believed that the deadline for prospective purchasers to submit their offers is February 17th.
According to the Daily Mail, a group of private investors from Qatar have expressed interest in purchasing United and have held discussions with the club’s management. The group is sure that their offer will be the most competitive one.
Just a few short weeks after the energy-rich Gulf state of Qatar hosted the World Cup, The Guardian claimed that Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, was interested in purchasing Manchester United.
However, the emir purchased the French champions Paris Saint-Germain in 2011 through Qatar Sports Investments. Because of this, a full takeover of United would be outside the requirements of UEFA at this time.
According to Britain’s Press Association, QSI is rumored to be contemplating buying a minority share in either Manchester United or another Premier League club.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, which manages investments totaling tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars, is the parent company of the organization in question.
Last month, the chief executive officer of the QIA, Mansoor Al-Mahmoud, was quoted in Bloomberg as saying the following: “You will not be surprised if we invest in this (area), but again we go into a very fundamental process and making sure that if we invest, this is very commercially driven for our future generations.”
According to Amnesty International, the interest shown by Qatar in Manchester United should serve as a “wake-up call” to the Premier League regarding the ownership regulations of the league.
It is highly likely that any Qatari bid for Manchester United would be a continuation of this state-backed sports washing project, according to Peter Frankental, economic affairs director for Amnesty UK. “Coming in the wake of the World Cup and strenuous efforts from the Qatari government to fashion a glitzy new image for the country,” Frankental said. “It seems highly likely that any Qatari bid for Manchester United would be a continuation of this state-backed sports washing project.”