The Premier League football team, Manchester United, has reportedly received interest from several parties proposing bids. Outgoing owners, the Glazer Family, have set February 17, 2023, as the deadline after which the club will be awarded to the highest bidder. The American businessmen reluctantly agreed to sell the club three months ago following years of protests from supporters.
They bought Man U in 2005 for 1.3 billion USD, and it is estimated to be auctioned between 6-7 billion USD. While many promising prospects could meet this asking price, things have become especially interesting as several publications have started to mention Elon Musk as a potential buyer. However, the eccentric billionaire has not yet confirmed the reports.
Reports Suggest Elon Musk Buying Manchester United
The second-richest person in the world is reportedly eyeing the situation surrounding ManU. With an estimated net worth of 189 billion USD and a documented love for football, the SpaceX founder is one of the fan favourites to be the next owner. The rumours about Musk taking over ManU also surfaced in August 2022 when the Tesla CEO joked about buying it.
Musk’s tweet came at a time when protests against the Glazer family’s ownership were at their peak. The billionaire later backtracked but also claimed that if he ever bought a sports team, it would be ManU because he loved it as a kid.
There are no latest statements from Musk’s camp regarding the imminent sale of the club.
Who Else is Interested?
Currently, verified reports indicate that more than ten parties are involved in the takeover bid. These groups have signed confidentiality agreements to allow them access to the “data room.” According to reports, multiple Saudi Arabian and American investors are believed to be in the race. The Saudi prospects are other than the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that owns Newcastle United.
Some reports also add that Qatari investors are preparing a huge deal “in the coming days.” The body helping them prepare the deal is none other than the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the parent behind Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which owns the French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
Another Buyer Waiting to Pounce
Among the list of all these heavyweights, the richest person in the UK, Jim Ratcliffe, is the only one confirmed to have formally stated his interest. Besides being a boyhood fan of Manchester United, Ratcliffe is reportedly worth around 15 billion USD.
His enormous wealth has allowed him to invest in various sporting ventures. He acquired cyclists Team Sky in 2019 and rebranded them Ineos Grenadiers, after his chemical company INEOS Group Limited. He also runs the Sir Ben Ainslie sailing team, sponsors the Mercedes Formula One racing team, and owns the Swiss football team, FC Lausanne-Sport, and the French football team, OGC Nice.
Ratcliffe also tried to buy Chelsea FC with a late bid worth 4.25 billion USD in April 2022. However, American investor Todd Boehly had already won the race.