Saudi Arabia’s Information Minister Turki Al-Shabbana yesterday denied reports that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) was in the running to buy the UK’s Manchester United football club.
News that the Kingdom’s de-facto ruler had put in a $5 billion bid for the club were “completely baseless”, Al-Shabbana said on Twitter.
“Manchester United held a meeting with @PIFSaudi [Saudi Public Investment Fund] to discuss [a] sponsorship opportunity. No deal has […] materialised.”
Reports claiming that HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman intends on buying @ManUtd are completely false. Manchester United held a meeting with @PIFSaudi to discuss sponsorship opportunity . No deal has been materialized.
— تركي الشبانه (@TurkiAlshabanah) February 17, 2019
Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the world’s tenth-largest sovereign fund, worth some $360 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Institute.
Bin Salman reportedly wanted to buy Manchester United to take on rival football club Manchester City, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
The alleged offer to buy Manchester United – one of the richest football clubs in the world – from their current owners the Glazer family, would have seen the club earn an extra $2.8 billion, according to British tabloid the Sun.
Bin Salman is known for his extravagant purchases; in 2016 he bought a $500 million yacht and, a year later, was revealed to be behind a record breaking $450 million auction bid for Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. In the same month, the pro-austerity crown prince also bought the world’s most expensive home – a newly built $392 million chateau near Versailles in Louveciennes, France.