Manchester United’s stock fell Monday as a protracted takeover battle for the iconic English soccer club rumbled into its eighth month.
Sheikh Jassim, the chair of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a past prime minister of Qatar, and Jim Ratcliffe, the chief executive of the chemical giant Ineos, have made rival bids for Manchester United, which is currently owned by the Glazer family, based in Florida.
On Saturday, Manchester United took on Premier League champion Manchester City in the FA Cup final, the traditional finale of the English soccer season. Manchester City ran out 2-1 winners against their local rivals.
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There had been speculation that the Glazers would wait until after the FA Cup final before providing an update on takeover discussions so as not to create a distraction amid preparations for the match. However, the defeat at Wembley Stadium marked the end of Manchester United’s season, and attention is again firmly focused on the club’s future.
The Mirror reported Saturday that Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag “will be given a clearer picture” of whether the Glazers will sell the club or remain in charge “over the coming days.”
Manchester United declined to comment for this story.
Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer did not respond to questions on the takeover from Sky Sports at the FA Cup final.
Fans are eager to see how any takeover developments will affect Manchester United’s ability to make key player signings during the coming months. The Premier League transfer window for signing new players is set to reopen on June 14 and close on Sept. 1.
The Glazers have come under intense pressure to sell Manchester United amid ongoing fan frustration over what is seen as underperformance. The club, one of the biggest names in world football, last won the Premier League in 2013. In 2021, the Glazers faced major backlash from fans over planned involvement in the controversial European Super League.
The club did clinch its first silverware in six years earlier this year, with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United in the League Cup final.
Manchester United is the most successful team in the English top division, which it has won 20 times. A record 13 of those titles have come in the Premier League era, which began in 1992. Founded as Newton Heath in 1878, the club became Manchester United in 1902 and won the first of its 20 league titles six years later.