Summary: Manchester United - Crystal Palace 1:2 (Sport1)
Is Manchester United also going to be bought by Qatar?
According to a dramatic report in the "Daily Mail", "Qatari investors are planning another huge investment in the purchase of Manchester United and want to give coach Eric Ten Haag the financial backing to lead the club back to the top."
In the "Mail" it was revealed that a group of private individuals with a lot of wealth in the oil-rich country, which hosted the World Cup in December, desire to purchase the club which they see as the "crown jewels of football".
They will submit an offer to United in the coming days, before the deadline set by the Glazers (mid-February), and are sure that their offer will be completely superior to that of the competitors.
They want to take advantage of their knowledge from hosting the World Cup.
The Qataris (Photo: Reuters)
The twist: The Qataris are building on "fan involvement", an element that is at the heart of their proposal, and they may well ask the fans to participate in decision-making.
As you know, Manchester United fans have claimed over the years about alienation from the American owners, so the Qataris will have to win the hearts of suspicious fans, who used to mock other teams for "dirty" money.
A potential problem with the deal is Qatar Investment Fund's ownership of Paris Saint-Germain - as it cannot own two clubs in the same competition - and United and PSG could meet in Europe.
However, it is believed that the bid for United will come from other Qatari investors.
Those close to the buyers claim that the group of investors wants to use the knowledge gained from hosting the World Cup and is looking for a new project.
"There are significant amounts of money that are available," the Qataris said.
"These people are serious. They want to make sure United are where they need to be, and they are confident that their offer will be the strongest offer. They want to strengthen the team to get it back to the top but they also want it to be for the good of the community.
"They also want to build on the success of the World Cup .
They recognize that Manchester United is the biggest football club in the world, and they are determined to buy the team and bring it to where it needs to be."
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Tan Haah (Photo: Reuters)
If the proposal is accepted, it will create another "derby" in Manchester - between Qatar and Abu Dhabi, the two principalities from the Gulf, and another battle against Newcastle, which is owned by Saudi Arabia.
As we know, the neighboring countries from the Gulf are rivals.
The takeover will of course need the approval of the Premier League, and may encounter public and public opposition, in light of the country's criticism of Qatar throughout the past year - before and during the hosting of the World Cup.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is a die-hard Manchester United fan who knows the club's history well.
In 2011, it was reported that the Al Thani family made an offer of more than £1 billion to buy United, which was rejected by the Glazers. In the same year, they bought 70% of PSG shares. The
Qataris face another offer from a significant rival, Jim Ratcliffe , the richest man in Britain and a United fan, who was the first to go public with his intention to purchase the club.
Emir of Qatar