The Emir of Qatar has reportedly shown interest in buying Manchester United, but may not be able to do so unless a UEFA rule change is sanctioned.
WHAT HAPPENED? As a potential sale of Manchester United continues to progress, prospective buyers have been blown out of the water by the news that the Emir of Qatar has an interest in purchasing the club. A Qatari bid is believed to be one that would squash all other interested parties, but according to The Guardian, the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani would be presented with a headache thanks to a UEFA ruling.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Emir already owns Paris Saint-Germain, having completed a takeover in 2011. A UEFA rule states that clubs with the same owners are unable to face each other in their competitions, meaning United would be blocked from facing PSG, as they have done regularly in recent seasons. The Guardian also report that Qatar officials are conscious of such rules and are now looking to find a solution in order to continue with any potential purchase.
AND WHAT'S MORE: While a £6bn price tag has been slapped on United by the Glazers, the Emir values the club below that currently, instead seeing £4.5bn as a more realistic price. Any bid from Qatar would give great competition to that of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's. The 70-year-old is one of Britain's richest people and was born in Greater Manchester. He made his interest in buying the club clear when the process began in November.
WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? The Red Devils are currently flying under Erik ten Hag and competing on four fronts, in a bid to return to the top of the football mountain. A sale is expected imminently, with potential buyers gathered, and any successful Qatari takeover could see the United boss handed a huge transfer war chest.
By Mitchell Wilks
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