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Sheikh Jassim’s failed Man United bid: Raine Group chief reveals all



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Credit: Tribuna

Joe Ravitch, co-founder and partner at The Raine Group, has revealed all on Sheikh Jassim’s failed bid to buy Manchester United across 2023.

Although it was Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS who eventually won the race to become a new co-owner of Manchester United, it was a 13-month process containing a battle between the British billionaire and Qatari businessman Shiekh Jassim.

The sale of United was overseen by The Raine Group, who also conducted the sale of Chelsea a few years ago, and their co-founder Joe Ravitch has revealed all about Jassim’s bid for United and why it ultimately fell apart.

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“We met Jassim,” Ravitch told The Times in a full exclusive interview. “He was in New York. He’s a lovely guy; a very smart guy. The Qataris were very real. They were very smart guys, very thoughtful. I don’t know why they didn’t appreciate the value [of the club], but we were not their adviser. We tried as the seller to explain the value to them, and they put what they thought was a series of very serious bids on the table.”

His bid, however, was not enough, with the Glazer family, who are still the majority owners of the club, rejecting their bids.

“My clients [the Glazers] are also smart guys,” he says. “We thought the value would be around $6.5 billion [about £5billion], so we were kind of spot on with regards to where Ratcliffe ended up.

“But when the Washington Commanders [NFL team] went for $6 billion we all thought: ‘Well, United is the most important sports team in the world; more than a billion fans. The Commanders own one 32nd of the NFL. Their economics are severely limited by the commercial sharing caps placed on it by the league.

“We know that because the Glazers also own a NFL team. Therefore, if someone is willing to pay six billion for the Commanders, someone should be willing to pay more for United.

“I think the Qataris got to about $5.75 billion. We said to them, ‘You’re within 10 per cent, why don’t you get in a room and try to get to a deal.’ But they said no. I think they were very conscious of criticism if they were seen to be overpaying.

“Ultimately, we think they would have been good owners, but we think the Glazers made the right decision not to take the lesser value and go with Ratcliffe instead.”