...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
Manchester United has set April 28th as the deadline for third and final bids from interested parties who wish to take the club away from the Glazer family.
American owners of Manchester United announced in November last year that they were looking for “strategic alternatives” for the club, including a full sale.
A soft deadline of February 17th was initially set for expressions of interest, followed by a second deadline of March 22nd, which was extended by a few days.
A report from MailOnline suggests that a full sale of the club remains the “likeliest” outcome.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar and British billionaire and United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who runs the Ineos group, are believed to be the front-runners to secure full control at Old Trafford.
American financial investor Carlyle is said to have submitted a minority stake bid for the club, while other parties are also thought to be interested in a similar stake.
However, such a move would be unpopular with fans as it would see the Glazers remaining part of the club.
The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has called for the takeover process to be concluded “without further delay”, stating that the club is in “dire need of new investment”.
The supporters trust believes that prolonged uncertainty could harm summer transfer business and delay major projects, such as redeveloping Old Trafford.
The group had previously urged the majority owners to move ahead with the process with speed.
Experts predict Manchester United’s future
The future of Manchester United has been the subject of much speculation since it was announced that the club was up for sale.
Experts have predicted that the club is likely to be sold to one of the two front-running bidders, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar or Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The possibility of a minority stake purchase by Carlyle has also been suggested, though this would not be popular with fans.
Supporters are urging a speedy resolution to the takeover process, with concerns that the ongoing uncertainty could harm the club’s summer transfer business and delay key projects, such as the redevelopment of Old Trafford.