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Manchester United fans could almost be partying at the moment following the reports reaching National Daily.
It has been gathered that the Qatari investors have entered the race to buy the Old Trafford club and their reported plans will definitely be soothing to United fans and Erik ten Hag, especially as regards a bumper transfer budget on the agenda
And while Sir Jim Ratcliffe and various unnamed parties were previously believed to have confirmed their interest in purchasing arguably the biggest club in the world football, National Daily has just gathered that Qatari investors are lining up a bumper bid to blow their rivals out of the water.
With the Glazer family’s announcement in November that United were “open to exploring strategic alternatives” for investment, a mega-rich group from the oil-rich Gulf state have decided to put their hat in the ring.
And considering the £8billion-rated Red Devils as ‘football’s Crown Jewels’ and perhaps buoyed by their nation’s hosting of the World Cup, National Daily gathered from the report by the Mail that the Qataris will make an offer in the coming days, shortly before the proposed deadline for bids later this month.
Meanwhile, their major plans for Erik ten Hag, the fans and wider club are considered here as the five key aspects of their grand scheme.
1. Stadium plan
At the heart of almost every serious debate surrounding who could buy Manchester United is their great home of Old Trafford. But it might not have been so great anymore to regular match-goers, who’ve endured leaks, rust and general decay since English football’s largest club stadium was last renovated in 2005 – the year the Glazers took charge.
It’s in dire need of a makeover or a complete rebuild, and that’s something which the Qatari’s recognise. Should Old Trafford need knocked down in a project which could cost more than £2bn, it is claimed that the unnamed group would certainly have sufficient funds.
They would also be keen to consult fans, too, hoping to create a harmony between supporters and the club’s hierarchy which has not been witnessed since the Glazers took over.
2. Ten Hag’s transfer kitty
Speaking of splashing the cash to improve things, the Red Devils remain some distance away from the top table of European football, despite the good work from Erik ten Hag since his appointment as manager last May. Only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been able to keep United in the Champions League for two seasons running following Sir Alex Ferguson ‘s retirement nearly a decade ago, and the first-team squad is still a hodgepodge of footballing ideas.
Ten Hag has been backed with more than £230m on nine new signings during his first two transfer window, but it’s rather daunting how much work still needs to be done. The Qataris are willing stump up huge sums to give the Dutch manager the funds that he needs to get United back amongst the elite, with a source claiming that a ‘war-chest’ will be available.
3. Qatar World Cup knowledge
When the Glazers rocked up at Old Trafford 18 years ago thanks to their much-maligned leveraged buyout, it’s likely that no one expected them to eventual be selling to people from Qatar. In 2023, though, the gulf state’s footballing stature is growing, much thanks to hosting last year’s World Cup.
Whether you dub it a success or disaster, the tournament boosted Qatar’s sporting prowess and the Middle East’s as whole. While the Glazers have never seemed to have much interest in football, it’s said that the Qatari investors want to build on the success of their country’s World Cup and use their new-found knowledge to help lead the Red Devils back to the top.
4. Fan engagement
As supporters likely getting their own say on the future of Old Trafford would suggest, fan engagement is believed to be one of the Qatari bid’s core tenets. Although the Glazers promised a “new era of dialogue” between fans and club chiefs in the wake of the European Super League fiasco and subsequent fierce protests, there’s been very little change when it comes to communication.
More open and engaging owners would no-doubt be appreciated by supporters who feel they’ve been without a meaningful say on how the club is run since the Glazer family tightened their grip in 2005, having initially invested two years prior. With the forthcoming Government white paper set to outline new rules for how football clubs are regulated in Britain, fans are set to be given the lawful opportunity to weigh in on big decisions, and the Qataris are braced for the changes.
5. Community links
They may be a global powerhouse but United’s heart will always be in Manchester. Anyone who lives around the area will know the importance of the club’s local footprint, with organisations such as the MU Foundation playing a valuable role in the community.
Perhaps low down on the priority list for some fans, if the Qataris can boost the connection between the Red Devils and Mancunians it’d provide them with some much-needed goodwill and acclaim – especially given the criticism already coming their way relating to sports-washing. Like all of the bids set to come in, though, every group will be selling supporters the dream – it’s just about making it a reality.
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