Qatar bid for Manchester United reported but club not for sale, insist the Glazers

20 December 2010 11:20
The Glazer family have dismissed reports of a £1.5bn takeover bid from mega-rich Qatar, insisting that they have no interest in selling Manchester United.

Qatar Holdings, owned by the Qatari royal family, holds a massive portfolio of worldwide investments, including prestigious London department store Harrods, and United has been reported as the next target on their list of iconic acquisitions.

An offer of £1.5bn would double the original investment made by the Glazers in the club in 2005, and would leave the club debt-free.

Hate figures: The Glazers remain hugely unpopular at United

The Americans remain hugely unpopular at Old Trafford, with fans arguing that the millions paid out every year to pay off interest accrued by the Glazers during their buy-out limits United's spending power.

Any Qatari takeover would leave the club with an enormous transfer war-chest to compare with the seemingly bottomless funds available at local rivals Manchester City, made available by Abu Dhabi oil billionaire Sheik Mansour.

Fresh from winning the rights to stage the 2022 World Cup, Qatarrecently agreed a world-record deal to become Barcelona's first evershirt sponsors.

Splashing the cash: The Qatar Foundation, established by Qatar's emir, has agreed to a huge deal to become Barcelona's shirt sponsors

Qatar Holdings is also behind high-profile London property investments including the Shard, One Hyde Park and the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. United would meet their criteria of making iconic acquisitions.

United supporters' group the Red Knights were earlier this year unsuccessful in their plan to tempt the Glazers to sell the club, despite a figure of £1bn being mooted.

Qatar's extraordinary wealth may prove harder for the Glazers to resist, should there be a serious offer. But a spokesman for the Glazers said: 'There has been no approach and it would be irrelevant anyway because they do not want to sell.'

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Source: Daily_Mail