‘Completely false’: Saudi crown prince NOT plotting $4.9bn Man Utd takeover bid, minister says

‘Completely false’: Saudi crown prince NOT plotting $4.9bn Man Utd takeover bid, minister says
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is not lining up a multibillion-dollar takeover of English footballing giants Manchester United, the country’s media minister has said, rejecting recent UK press speculation.

It was reported over the weekend that the Saudi crown prince, commonly known as MBS, was plotting a takeover bid for the Premier League team in the region of £3.8 billion (US$4.9 billion).

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The Old Trafford club is currently owned by the Glazer family of the US, who sealed a takeover for £790 million from 2005.

There were claims that the Saudi royal family was keen to buy the club in a challenge to similarly wealthy cross-town rivals Manchester City, who are owned by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Those reports have been firmly rebuffed by the Saudi media minister, Turki al-Shabanah, who wrote on Twitter that any contact with United had been purely to discuss potential sponsorship.  

He said that no potential sponsorship deal “has been materialized.”

United rank among the richest and most prestigious clubs in the world, and lead the way with 20 top division titles in England.

The club is valued in excess of $4 billion by Forbes, and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

However, the Red Devils recently dropped to third on football’s rich list compiled by financial services firm Deloitte, behind Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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United’s wealthy owners the Glazers also control the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise.

But even their wealth pales in comparison with that of the Saudi royal family, which by some estimates has assets worth in excess of $1 trillion.