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When they go for football, they really go for football…
News reports are emerging from the UK that Qatar Holding are poised to buy Manchester United Football Club, if they can persuade the owners to sell.
December 22, 2010 4:44 by Sam Potter
Well, you can’t say they don’t commit themselves. Fresh from bagging the hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against all odds, and just weeks after unveiling a huge $125 million sponsorship of the FC Barcelona shirt, Qatar could be set to buy one of the most famous football clubs in the world.
UK daily tabloid The Sun reports that Manchester United non-executive director Mike Edelson has revealed that its current owners, the American Glazer family, are open to selling the club. He said that, “It’s no secret that, at some time, the family will sell.” The paper goes on to say that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Qatar Holding are ready to pounce.
According to a Middle East football finance expert Qatar Holding has been hovering around United, waiting to strike (in the paper’s words). “They have made tentative moves before with little success but this time it looks like they could be going for it,” said the expert. “Now they have landed the 2022 World Cup, the country wants to expand its influence in the game across the globe.”
Qatar Holding is the investment company of the Qatar royal family. Earlier this month another royal organisation, the Qatar Foundation, founded by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, agreed a record shirt sponsorship deal with Barcelona. The foundation is a non-commercial operation that backs projects focusing on education, scientific research and community development.
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