Man Utd takeover: Next steps, Old Trafford plans and debt increase issues | Football | Sport
Home » Matches » Man Utd takeover: Next steps, Old Trafford plans and debt increase issues | Football | Sport
Man Utd takeover: Next steps, Old Trafford plans and debt increase issues | Football | Sport

Manchester United could be set for a takeover in the coming weeks, with Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Thomas Zilliacus all in the running to buy the club. The Glazer family, who currently own the Red Devils, put the 13-time Premier League champions on the market last November after buying them in 2005. Express Sport takes a look at the latest developments around the takeover.

Next steps

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe have both submitted second bids for United after their initial £4.5billion offers were rejected by the Glazer family. Finnish entrepreneur Zilliacus has also tabled a bid to buy the club, while Elliott Management want to get its hands on a minority stake.

According to Sky Sports, it is now up to Raine Group, who are overseeing the takeover, and the Glazers to consider all of the proposals and decide whether they want to take any of the bids forward. Unless the Glazer family changes their mind and decides to keep hold of the club, which is still a possibility, they will either select their preferred bidder or ask for another round of bids.

Old Trafford plans

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils’ powerbrokers have explored the option of building a new stadium but are in favour of renovating Old Trafford. United co-chairman Joel Glazer wants to preserve the heritage of the stadium, a view shared by senior figures at the club. United think a new arena could become soulless within a certain period, with sources citing Arsenal's Emirates Stadium as an example of a new development that lacks atmosphere.

The Red Devils have been told that it would cost them just as much to redevelop Old Trafford as it would for them to build a new stadium from scratch. It could take a decade to transform the current stadium due to planning permission, consultation meetings, dialogue with Trafford council and a town hall with residents ahead of the works. But a new stadium could be ready to use in just six years.

United have been told by developers that they have the potential to expand Old Trafford to any capacity of their choosing. And a provisional plan shows each stand being developed for a year at a time, with a hotel also being erected on the site.

Debt increase issues

United’s latest financial results showed their debt rising to £535.7million. That’s £58.6m more than the £477.1m of debt the club had a year ago, with United’s revenues also taking a 10 per cent hit over the same period.

New owners would need to absorb the debt as part of their takeover. But current bosses are likely to be unfazed by the added debt, with United’s season ticket waiting list of 145,000 people providing a clear indication that the club still have plenty of supporters willing to spend their hard-earned wages at Old Trafford.

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