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Manchester United set timeline to decide on Sir Jim Ratcliffe offer



Manchester United’s board will meet on Thursday and could vote on whether to accept Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to buy a 25 percent stake in the club.

The petrochemicals billionaire and his company, Ineos, is the only remaining bidder for United after the Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim opted to end his interest in the club last week.

Ratcliffe initially offered to buy the 69 percent of United currently owned by the six Glazer siblings before altering his bid to take a minority share and allow the American family to remain involved.

The club’s 12 board members – including the six Glazers and CEO Richard Arnold – could approve the proposal on Thursday to start to bring an end to a saga that has lasted almost a year.

Ratcliffe’s 25 percent stake is expected to cost around £1.3bn while Sheikh Jassim, who had offered to buy 100 percent of United, considered the Glazers’ demands outlandish and excessive as they sought at least double the club’s market valuation of around $3.2bn.

Jassim made five offers for the club in an attempt to complete a takeover, but has now quit the process after final discussions with the current owners.

Jassim had pledged to invest a further $1.7bn to finance a new or redeveloped stadium and training facilities, along with investment in players and the community as well as clearing the club’s current debt.

Ratcliffe is a lifelong United fan and previously held an interest in buying Chelsea, before Clearlake Capital agreed a deal to succeed Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge last year.



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