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Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim make the winning offer in the Manchester United bidding war

The third and final proposals to purchase Manchester United were submitted on Friday by British businessman Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim are engaged in a bidding battle for the right to purchase the Premier League team from the Glazer family.

Although Sheikh Jassim's most recent offer is reportedly worth over £5 billion ($6.2 billion), Ratcliffe's improved offer's size had not yet been disclosed as of Friday at 2100 GMT, when the deadline for the third round of bidding had passed.

According to sources, Sheikh Jassim's proposal for complete ownership of the team includes the assurance of significant extra funds for signings and infrastructure.

The money would be used on updating United's outdated Old Trafford stadium or building a brand-new one, as well as upgrading the team's practice facilities.

Additionally, Sheikh Jassim's proposal calls for wiping out United's $620 million debt.

Former Chelsea owner Ratcliffe, the founder of INEOS Chemical Company and a lifelong United supporter, is said to desire to acquire a controlling share in United for more than 50%.

That would enable United's executive co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer to maintain their 20 percent ownership stake in the company, which has alarmed a fanbase weary of the Americans' contentious rule.

It's possible that the Glazers won't accept Sheikh Jassim's or Ratcliffe's proposal since they allegedly want a record-breaking £6 billion sum for a sports club before agreeing to sell the Old Trafford team.

The Glazers, who have been very unpopular with fans since they burdened the club with debt in a £790 million leveraged buyout in 2005, were poised to exit at a huge profit when they initially opened the door to outside investment in November.

However, private equity firms Elliot Investment Management and The Carlyle Group are among those looking for a minority stake that would permit the Glazers to maintain control and provide the money for infrastructure improvements to the club.

According to reports, Kevin, Bryan, Edward, and Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, siblings and fellow directors, are willing to sell their interests in United while Avram and Joel Glazer are apparently eager to keep them.

It was estimated that the highest bids from the last round of bidding, which was managed for the Glazers by New York merchant bank the Raine Group, were worth up to £5 billion.

That would have surpassed the £2.5 billion Premier League record paid for Chelsea last year by a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital, with a further £1.75 billion promised in infrastructure and player investment.

'DIRE NEED'

The Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) has requested a speedy resolution of the matter so that the summer transfer window can begin with the new owners in place.

“We urgently need fresh investment, which unquestionably calls for new ownership. MUST and United supporters all over the globe are requesting that this process be finished as soon as possible, the supporters' organization stated in a statement.

A demonstration against the Glazers is reportedly being planned by United supporters before Sunday's game against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

10 YEARS OF DECLINE

Over the past ten years, United has steadily declined both on and off the field while owned by the Glazers.

Since previous manager Alex Ferguson resigned in 2013, the Red Devils have failed to win the Premier League championship, and their income has lagged behind that of its neighborhood rivals Manchester City and Liverpool owing to a lack of Champions League play and a failure to update Old Trafford.

However, they are experiencing a comeback this year under Erik ten Hag's leadership after winning the League Cup in February to end a six-year trophy drought.

On June 3, they will compete against Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

A successful Qatari offer would give the Gulf nation pride of place in the Premier League, the most watched domestic league in the world, only months after hosting the 2022 World Cup.

However, Sheikh Jassim is the son of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, a former prime minister of Qatar, and his close ties to the ruling class of the gulf state raise concerns about another Premier League club receiving state funding.

The outside bidder is Finnish billionaire Thomas Zilliacus, who recently said that his offer from the second round of bidding still remained despite calling the drawn-out selling process a “farce.”

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