Sheikh Jassim remains one of the leading candidates to take over Manchester United. But could he bid for Liverpool if his efforts to assume control at Old Trafford fail?
The Qatari businessman has been one of the frontrunners in the United takeover saga since the club’s board announced it would be seeking ‘strategic alternatives’ back in November.
Now, nearly 10 months on, we are no closer to knowing who could become the next owners of United.
The battle appears to be largely between Sheikh Jassim, who wants a full takeover through his Nine Two Foundation, and the joint bid of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, who are bidding for a majority share. However, minority share proposals also remain on the table.
The Daily Mail claimed on Saturday that the Glazers are planning to take the club off the market entirely, owing to the fact that no bidders have reached their reported £10 billion asking price.
But Sky Sports reported on Sunday that both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim believe that the club is still on the market, and have not yet received any information to the contrary.
Should the Glazers decide to keep United, however, could Sheikh Jassim turn to the club’s great rival instead?
Could Sheikh Jassim submit Liverpool bid?
In November, Liverpool’s current owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), released a statement in which they confirmed they would welcome any outside investors into the club.
But in February, Reds principal owner John W Henry ruled out a full sale of the club.
In response to an email from the Boston Sports Journal, the American stated that Liverpool were in talks with possible investors, but added that any outcome of those talks ‘won’t be a sale’.
Qatari investors were previously linked with a takeover bid for the Reds – but it must be stressed that Sheikh Jassim’s name was not associated with these links in any reports. He is also claimed to be a boyhood United fan.
Therefore, it appears to be extremely unlikely that Sheikh Jassim would submit a bid to buy Liverpool instead of Manchester United.
However, ESPN journalist Mark Ogden suggested in an interview with The United Stand that the Qatari businessman could decide to submit a bid for fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham, who are currently majority owned by the ENIC Group.