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MUST comment on Manchester United takeover bids

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) has released a statement following takeover bids from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The bid from Al Thani is for complete control of the club, while Ratcliffe is only trying to buy out the Glazers.

Both parties announced that they had submitted their bids, outlining their plans for the club. It is unclear if there were other bids before the February 17 deadline.

There were rumours of late interest from the United States. Hedge fund Elliott Investment Management reportedly explored a bid for the Premier League club.

MUST has called on any party looking to take over the club to speak to fan groups. They also asked them to back Erik ten Hag in his bid to restore the club’s glory days.

A statement read: “At the commencement of the sale process, MUST was very clear about our list of asks for any new owner of Manchester United.

“These were to restore the club to the top of European football, invest in the teams, the wider club and the stadium, to ensure financial stability, and to work in true partnership with fans at all times. These tasks have been backed to date by 150 fan groups from all across the world.

“There are questions about sporting integrity given the exceptionally close links between this bidder and the owners of other European clubs including PSG (Paris Saint-Germain). 

“We urge all bidders to open a dialogue with fans groups alongside the bidding process with the club, in order to discuss their proposals including the above issues.

“We also note the importance that any owner respects the rights of all people. Many supporters have raised concerns over the discrimination that women face in Qatar. Other fan groups have expressed their concerns about the intolerance of the LGBTQ+ community, concerns which we fully support. 

“Finally, everyone can see the progress the team is making under Erik Ten Hag. After the frustrations of the last decade, it is clear that enormous strides are being taken. Any prospective bidder needs to explicitly commit to backing Erik and his plans to restore United to glory.”

The calls to speak to the supporters’ trust are unsurprising. Prospective owners did the same during the Chelsea takeover.

The calls to back the manager is a desperate plea, with Ten Hag leading his side to third place in the Premier League and doing an excellent job. They are playing their most exciting football and look dominant again.

Last week, they received plaudits for their performance against Barcelona in the Europa League. They drew the Spanish giants at the Spotify Camp Nou.

They face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final next weekend.

The fans will want the good times to continue and Ten Hag is backed in the transfer market even with a change in ownership.

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