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Glazers not for selling United despite rumoured interest from Qatar

20 Dec 2010 09:59:55

Glazers not for selling United despite rumoured interest from Qatar

Manchester United remain adamant that the Reds are not for sale and are ready to rebuff any approach by Qatar Holdings who are reported to be preparing a £1.5bn bid. The company is the investment arm of the royal family of the burgeoning oil and gas rich tiny country of Qatar. Qatar Holdings' chief executive and chairman, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, who is Qatar's prime minister, wants to increase their portfolio of investments and United is viewed as an iconic acquisition to add to the Harrods Group it bought last May for £1.5bn from Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed. United's owners the Glazers have consistently put the blocks on any takeover insisting that the United project was a long term one for the American family. A club spokesman repeated the stance and denied there was any truth in the interest from Qatar. There is nothing in this. The club have had no approach at all and it is not for sale, said Communications director Phil Townsend. The Gulf Times, Qatar's best-selling newspaper, have quoted a source as saying, Qatar looks like trying for United, although no one is saying anything officially. Making a bid to takeover United would be a further move into the soccer market which has become a clear intent of the emirates country. Qatar was successful earlier this month with their controversial bid for the World Cup in 2022. It was a bid endorsed by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who visited Dohar last month prior to FIFA's announcement to back the country's efforts. Due to the heat in Qatar in the summer FIFA are now considering plans to switch the world tournament to the winter. Last week the Qatar Foundation, which is the charity wing of the ruling family, caused a sensation in Spain when they agreed a £25m a season deal with Barcelona to sponsor the Catalan club's shirts. It was the first time Barca have ever had a shirt deal. Any potential bid for United would be a drop in the ocean for Qatar Holdings whose assets are estimated at a whopping £40bn. Despite another firm public rebuff from the Glazers there remains suspicion that the Florida-based owners have been preparing the ground for a sale. Last month the controversial PIKs (Payment in Kind loans) that were incurring massive interest payments were unexpectedly paid off by the Glazer's holding company Red Football Joint Venture Ltd. The Glazer's spokesman also announced in the wake of paying off the PIKs that he will be leaving the company in January. City experts saw the £220m PIKS which wiped out the infamous loans as a sign that a takeover would be on the horizon. What do you think? Have your say.


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