Soon-to-be Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe threatened to walk away from the deal which saw him acquire 26.79% of the Old Trafford club if there was no progress last month, according to a document submitted to American authorities.
The Guardian reports that the British billionaire issued a Christmas Day deadline for the acceptance of his final offer, and the Glazers had no choice but to do business after he met their requirements.
Man United announced on Christmas Eve that they had agreed to sell a 25% stake to Ratcliffe’s INEOS group, bringing an end to a process that started in November 2022.
The OGC Nice owner had been keen on a full takeover but was unable to meet the asking price the Glazers demanded, eventually settling for the acquisition of a minority stake in July 2023.
Ratcliffe and Man United are both waiting for the Premier League to ratify the deal, and that is expected to get done before the end of next month.
The INEOS chairman will take control of the football operations of the Red Devils, and he has already met with the staff and fans representatives.
While Ratcliffe met the requirements of the Man United owners, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani failed to show proof that he had sufficient finance for the deal.
The Qatari failed to respond to requests to show where his money was coming from, refusing to attach the customary financing commitment letters to his submitted bids before he withdrew from the bidding process on October 15.
Fans had their hopes raised about his potential ownership at the time given the financial muscle of the Qatari state, but the fact that Sheikh Jassim could not table the much-needed proof of funds speaks volumes.
Given the difficulty he had with providing such important documents, it is difficult to see how the Qatar Islamic Bank chairman would have passed the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ test.
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