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Next Manchester United Owner Odds: Qatari Group Sets Deadline For Deal

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

Next Manchester United Owner Odds: Qatari Group Sets Deadline For Deal

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Manchester United remains on the block, as the Glazer family is finalizing its options in regard to selling one of the world’s most storied soccer squads. The move has come with much fanfare and potential interest among the world's billionaires. 

After 17 years, the Glazers, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL, are in stage 3, perhaps the final stage, for at least a partial sale of the Red Devils of Old Trafford.

Now that Liverpool is no longer for sale, Man Utd, a crown jewel of soccer betting, should gain even more interest on the global market. With a deadline looming to offer a proposal on the historic franchise, Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has just updated his favorites to take over the famous team. 

Manchester United Next Owner Odds

OwnerOddsImplied Probability
Jim Ratcliffe-10551.2%
Sheikh Jassim+10548.8%
Glazer/Harris/Blitzer Group+52516.0%
The Field+25003.9%

Odds are projected and do not reflect odds that may be available at legal betting sites.. They are for entertainment purposes only and were created by the Bookies team.

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It’s been a rough stretch for Manchester United. It hasn't won any type of championship in five years and has become the No. 2 team in its own city with the ascension of Manchester City, the Premier League champions in four of the last five seasons. 

Then there's Cristiano Ronaldo, who was released by the team last November after a dramatic - and unauthorized - TV interview with Piers Morgan that saw Ronaldo heavily criticize the club. The team is in turmoil off the pitch.

Still, the team did finish a respectable third in the Premier League last season, and any perceived hiccups haven't stopped interested parties from shelling out big bucks to take over the team and its historic Old Trafford stadium. 

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Last year, Chelsea was sold for $3.2 billion. Analysts believe United will far surpass that, fetching perhaps as much as $6-8 billion. The Glazers bought the team for just under $1 billion back in 2005, so they're potentially looking at a decent-sized profit. 

Speaking of which, UK bettors should check out the best free bet offers before placing any soccer bets this weekend.

Who Could Buy Manchester United?

Jim Ratcliffe

The British billionaire – in fact, the richest man in the country – has made clear his interest in buying Manchester United earlier in the year, and now that the Glazer’s share of the team may be up for sale, Ratcliffe, a lifelong fan of the team, is the top name. If this market was available on UK betting sites, he'd likely be favored.

For a team that may be soured on international ownership, a British national could be the top choice for fans as well. That said, Ratcliffe's ownership proposal reportedly keeps brothers Joel and Avram Glazer in the fold in some capacity, irking United fans. 

Sheikh Jassim 

State-run teams have become a trend for top-tier squads. A majority of Manchester City is owned by a group from Abu Dhabi and Newcastle is owned by a group from Saudi Arabia. Paris Saint Germain, one of the world’s most successful teams, is owned by backers from Qatar. 

Now the same Qatari group, led by ruler Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, has reportedly made a massive offer for United, well beyond the asking price. Unlike Ratcliffe, Jassim wants full control of the team, cutting the Glazers out entirely, and has put forth a deadline of this Friday for the Glazers to make a decision. Will the go-big, strong-arm tactics work? 

The Glazer Family

The U.S.-based Harris/Blitzer Group owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, and attempted to purchase Liverpool. But they reportedly were considering making an offer for a minority stake in United that would allow the Glazers to remain part of the Manchester United ownership group. They already own a smaller stake in Crystal Palace of the EPL, which would have to be relinquished to buy United, but their interest in soccer is clear. What's unclear is if the Glazers would be interested in such a partnership. 

Manchester United Owner Darkhorses

At this late stage, there aren't any other true contenders. But nobody knows everything going on behind the scenes. Most other contenders have dropped out or not kept up. These darkhorses are now part of The Field. 

Finnish billionaire Thomas Zilliacus says he was not granted access during the second round of the bidding process and pulled his offer. 

Last August, English Michael Knighton admitted to lacking the funds needed to purchase the team outright. Two months later, however, he indicated that his planned takeover of the team was “moving forward as planned.” It would be his second attempt to own the team after a failed bid in 1999. Still, can he muster the capital to outbid Ratcliffe or the Qatar and Dubai groups? It seems doubtful.

Jim O'Neill, the former boss at Goldman Sachs and Manchester native once attempted a hostile takeover of Manchester United in 2012. O’Neill is a fan and can afford it, but he’s also slammed the Glazers’ valuation of the team, which may signify a hesitation to join a massive bidding war. 

Many names could come out of nowhere and still offer a sizable bid. The Field includes Mark Mateschitz, the inherited owner of Red Bull who is worth an estimated $35 billion and is the richest millennial in Europe. He also inherited two Formula One teams and German soccer squad RB Leipzig. 

The Field also includes two of the wealthiest men on earth, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. The Daily Mail in London made a claim that “tech giants” Amazon and Facebook are credible suitors for Manchester United. Elon Musk teased about a possible bid on the historic squad, but that hasn't come to fruition. Yet. 

Other national wealth fund groups out of the Middle East and Asia aren’t out of the running either. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.