Manchester United forecasted eclipsing £1billion in revenue by the end of the 2027 financial year before rebuffing Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s bid for a full takeover, according to reports. The Glazer family are fully aware of their 18-year cash cow’s worth and believe there is much more milking to be done before they cash in.
Sheikh Jassim was insistent throughout his attempts to prize United away from the American owners that it was 100 per cent or nothing.
The Glazers demanded at least £6.5bn, almost three times United’s £2.6bn market value. Sheikh Jassim offered just over £5bn. So, nothing, it was.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe outmanoeuvred the Qatari royal by accepting that the Glazers – particularly co-chairmen Joel and Avram – were reluctant to walk away from the club they have helmed since 2005.
Therefore, he has taken a similar but significantly less controversial approach to the Glazers’ leveraged buyout almost two decades ago
Sir Jim is closing in on a £1.3bn deal for 25 per cent of the club, with the assurance that INEOS will inherit total control of sporting matters.
The 71-year-old businessman from Failsworth – a boyhood United supporter – is reportedly keen to ensure a path to a phased full takeover.
Reports this week even suggested Sir Jim is so insistent on eventually becoming the club’s majority owner that an agreement during current talks could be a ‘deal breaker’.But it could be a while before the Glazers relinquish the last of their stake at Old Trafford, based on their reported financial aspirations, potentially putting the deal in jeopardy.
United’s revenue was £494.1m in 2021. It rose to £583.2m in 2022. After reporting £648.4m for 2023 on Thursday, the New York Stock Exchange posted projected revenues of up to £680m for the next fiscal year.
And the report claims that during the takeover meetings, United claimed they would surpass £1bn in revenue by the end of the 2027 financial year.
The Red Devils’ lofty forecast excluded any potential boosts from redeveloping Old Trafford, indicating the Glazers characteristically intend to let other investors take care of that.
The US-based family hope for increased commercial and broadcast revenue and matchday income through means including new formats in the UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.
But it’s claimed that there is a belief that on-field performance will have to improve if United are to reach that £1bn projection.
That’s likely where Sir Jim and INEOS come in. However, the risk of increased toxicity grows every week that goes by where they are the Glazers’ business partners rather than their successors