Qatari investors are planning to make a huge bid to buy Premier League club Manchester United, the Daily Mail newspaper reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources.
According to Reuters, the report described the investors as "a group of private, high-wealth individuals" from Qatar, which hosted the 2022 World Cup. United declined to comment on the news.
Bloomberg News reported last month that Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which owns Paris St Germain (PSG), was considering either a total takeover or a stake in Manchester United or their rivals Liverpool.
QSI is a state-backed body founded by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, but European football governing body UEFA has strict integrity rules regarding multi-club ownership.
No club participating in its competitions is allowed to "directly or indirectly hold or deal in the securities or shares of any other club".
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The Daily Mail report states the interested investors are separate from QSI and that the money will come from an "individual fund" rather than a sovereign wealth fund.
United fans have been clamouring for a change of ownership and the Glazer family which owns the club has been the target of intense criticism as the team last won silverware back in 2017, lifting the Europa League and League Cup trophies.
In April, thousands protested outside Old Trafford, lighting flares and singing songs demanding the Glazers "get out of the club".
United's net debt, another bone of contention among fans, had grown to £515 million ($620.42 million) by September.
The team, managed by Erik ten Hag, are third in the league on 42 points after 21 games, three points behind Manchester City but eight adrift of leaders Arsenal, who have played a game less.