Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has issued Manchester United an ultimatum after submitting a fifth and supposedly final bid to buy the club.
Entering his fifth revised bid to buy Man United outright on Wednesday, the Middle Eastern banker and member of the Qatari royal family is reported to have told the club he is willing to pay “no more than £6 billion” for the takeover, an offer which sees him become the first to match the Glazer’s asking price.
However, in trying to give the negotiations a much-needed jolt — with Sheikh Jassim said to have grown frustrated with the long, drawn-out bidding process — his latest proposal also came with an ultimatum, telling the owners that they have until Friday, 8 June to accept his offer or else he will walk away.
So, rather than being strung along by the Glazers any further and potentially being dragged into another round of bidding with an arbitrary deadline, he has now given them until the end of the week to return their decision.
As Sky Sports‘ Kaveh Solhekol went on to explain, Sheikh Jassim is now “frustrated and fed up” with how the bidding process has gone thus far, noting that talks first began almost seven months ago and there have been multiple so-called ‘deadlines’ that have led to little consequence or progress.
As a result, his bidding team have told the Glazers, board members and the Raine Group officials overseeing any potential deal that he will “no longer engage with the process” if the fifth bid is not accepted by Friday.
The chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) who spent time in England whilst being educated at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst also wants to get the deal done as quickly as possible in order to clear the debts and properly fund the project at the earliest opportunity ahead of next season.
In addition to clearing United’s debts which are estimated to be just under £1bn, the sheikh will reportedly pump sizeable funds into redeveloping the stadium (or building a new one) and investing in the squad. While his exact net worth is not known, his family’s wealth is estimated at around £275 billion.
As for whether the Glazers will actually adhere to Sheikh Jassim’s deadline and accept his fifth and final bid, it remains to be seen, but it looks like someone needs to take charge in these negotiations if they actually going to move forward.
Gary Neville has already warned that the “shoddy” bidding process could end up jeopardising next season if it continues to go on any longer and many fans think the Qatari prince’s all-or-nothing offer is the only option to finally get rid of the Glazers.
Manchester City’s Matheus Nunes rolls back the years and goes to work at Flat Baker in Ancoats
Manchester City star Matheus Nunes has already impressed many during his short time at the Etihad so far, but he impressed a few more this weekend not with his skills on the pitch but in the kitchen after moonlighting at a popular Manchester bakery, The Flat Baker in Ancoats.
The recent Man City signing might only have the one assist to his name during his time as a Blue thus far, but he’s served up more than a baker’s dozen to local Manc residents thanks to a quick shift as a pastry chef this past weekend.
However, it was by no means his first time in the kitchen, as Nunes revealed that he used to work in a bakery during the earlier days of his footballing career.
Getting put to work on one of The Flat Baker‘s bestsellers, their unbelievably addictive pastel de natas — trust us, they’re utterly sinful these things — the bakery’s owners Débora and her husband, also called Matheus, got the City star back up to speed. You can see the full video here:
That being said, as you can see, the 25-year-old midfielder was a bit of a dab hand after a few goes at it; the fact he not only had prior experience but also shares the same heritage as the bakery’s founders no doubt helped.
Born in Brazil but raised in Portugal — two places where these unmistakable sweet treats are most famous — Nunes explained how he, his mother and English step-father moved to Europe for “a better life” and to help his chances of becoming a footballer.
The former Wolves player went on to explain how he “failed a lot in school” and eventually his mum gave him a choice: “give up football or school, in order to start working”.
Starting out in his godfather’s bakery, he went on to spend a fair bit of time making bread and pastries and even appeared in a similar video back in Portugal after signing for Sporting Lisbon.
Naturally, the trio did eventually touch on football a little bit, with Nunes discussing what it’s like to play under Pep Guardiola and how nice it’s been to arrive at a club where there are plenty of Portuguese-speaking players like Ederson, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and others.
Débora also joked about how he has fared getting used to ‘Rainchester’ and he was polite enough to smile it off and simply reiterated that playing for City was oppurtunity he culdn’t pass up.
So, if things don’t work out in the Premier League, he can always swap the sky blue shirt of city for a lovely chef’s apron and help out over at The Flat Baker.
Featured Image — Manchester City/Sporting Club de Portugal (via YouTube)
Tributes pour in for Manchester City legend and former chairman Franny Lee
Tributes are being paid to Manchester City legend and former chairman Francis ‘Franny’ Lee CBE, who has passed away aged 79.
The ex-Man City, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and England star is said to have passed away in the early hours on Monday morning, 2 October, following a long battle with cancer.
Speaking via a club statement, his wife Gill along with children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik said, “He will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words”.
Both Manchester teams led tributes to the British footballing legend, with avid City fan Liam Gallagher and countless others joining in paying their respects.
Franny Lee scored 148 goals in 330 appearances during eight-year City, helping the club win multiple honours during their first periods of success, including the old First Division title back in 1968.
Born in Lancashire and starting out elsewhere in Greater Manchester at Bolton Wanderers, he also went on to play for Derby following his time with the Blues, helping the Rams to their second-ever title in 1975.
The striker also had 27 caps for England between 1968–1972, scoring 10 goals and winning FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield twice at club level during that period.
Honouring their former centre-forward who went on to serve as Chairman for four years from 1994 onwards, the club statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of former Manchester City player and Chairman Francis Lee, aged 79”, adding that flags around the Etihad Campus are flying at half-mast.
His first club, Bolton, said of the former marksman, “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
As for legacy as for his time in Blue, the club had already planned to immortalise Lee prior to his death, announcing the erection of a statue back in May 2022, the reveal date of which will no doubt be moved up following his passing.
The club has also assured that “more tributes will follow in the coming days.”
Rest in peace to a legend.
Featured Image — Manchester City/England/Bolton Wanderers (via Twitter)