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Next Manchester United Owner Odds: Qatari Group, Elon Musk Rumored

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 7 mins

Next Manchester United Owner Odds: Qatari Group, Elon Musk Rumored

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Manchester United is on the block, as the Glazer family has begun looking at 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, have begun working with financial advisors for at least a partial sale of the Red Devils of Old Trafford.

Liverpool is also for sale, but Man Utd is a crown jewel of soccer betting and should gain even more interest on the global market. With a Friday 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+30025.0%
Qatar Sovereign Group+32523.5%
Dubai Sovereign Group+40020.0%
Michael Knighton+65013.3%
Jim O'Neill+85010.5%
Elon Musk+10009.1%
Pagliuca/Tanenbaum Group+15006.3%
Glazer/Harris/Blitzer Group+20004.8%
The Field+12007.7%

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.

It’s been a rough stretch for Manchester United, which hasn’t won any 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 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.

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Those hiccups won’t stop interested parties from shelling out big bucks to take over the team and its historic Old Trafford stadium. In May, 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. 

Proposals are due on Friday, when bidders simply must show a proof of funds to move forward. Official offers will come at a later date. 

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 – 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. He is the only confirmed bidder at this point. If this market was available on UK betting sites, he'd likely be favorite.

Ratcliffe even met with the Glazer family in October, where he made clear his interest. For a team that may be soured on international ownership, a British national could be the top choice for fans as well

Qatar Group

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 Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is expectd to make a massive offer for United. Reports suggest the group has eyed Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool as well, but the emir is a Manchester United fan and it's considered likely they will make a bid that goes beyond the asking price. 

Dubai Group

Qatar is going to have competition from another state-run organization with seemingly bottomless pockets. Dubai has yet to join the fray but certainly has the funds to do so, with a sovereign wealth fund that reportedly already offered over $10 billion. If that’s the case, the Glazers may simply take that money and run. 

Michael Knighton

In August, 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. 

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Elon Musk

If one individual could outbid the Middle Eastern parties, it would be Musk, with his net worth north of $180 billion. In August, Musk joked on Twitter - which he has purchased - that he would buy the team. He deleted the tweet, but later remarked if he were to buy a team, it would be Manchester United, his favorite growing up. 

Reports are now emerging that Musk is "monitoring the situation" and may put together a bid before Friday's deadline. If a team of British nationals fears Ratcliffe can't compete with Qatar or Dubai, they may back the South African citizen as the next-best option. 

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 have their eyes set on 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. 

Pagliuca/Tanenbaum Group

Steve Pagliuca, owner of the Boston Celtics, and Larry Tanenbaum, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, made a joint bid for Chelsea but didn’t get the team. They’re reportedly still interested in joining the EPL and are forming a strong group for another go-around. 

The Field

Many names could come out of nowhere and offer a sizable bid. The Field includes Mark Mateschitz, the inherited owner of Red Bull who is worth an estimated $15 billion and is the richest millennial in Europe. He also inherited two Formula One teams and German soccer squad RB Leipzig. 

Spanish billionaire Anancio Ortega has spoken of his interest in buying the club. With a net worth of $61 billion, he could afford it, but at age 86, how truly strong is the interest? 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. 

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 estabilshed as one of the nation's premier NFL and MLB handicappers, and his horse racing and PGA picks have produced major winners over the last 12 months.
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