Saudi Crown prince steps up bid for Man Utd


LONDON • Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Salman is stepping up a £3.8 billion (RM20.02 billion) bid for Manchester United, seeking to tempt the Glazer family to cede control of the Premier League soccer team before next season, the Sun on Sunday reported.

Prince Mohammed first made a bid for the team in October, the Sun said, but the diplomatic row that followed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul “put the skids” on the offer. The crown prince once reportedly said he hoped to put “a bullet” in Khashoggi.

Manchester United is controlled by the American Glazer family, owners of the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

They bought the UK soccer club in 2005 in an acquisition heavily financed by debt and, in 2012, listed it in New York. They have no interest in selling, the newspaper said.

The £3.8 billion valuation depends on interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting the team into next season’s Champions League, with a deal unlikely before that’s confirmed, according to the Sun on Sunday report.

The Sun said Prince Mohammed’s interest in Manchester United is driven by a desire to challenge Premier League rival Manchester City, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.

While Manchester United is publicly traded in New York, the Glazers still control the club by holding most of its B-shares, according to the Sun. — Bloomberg