Qatari owners would take more from Manchester United than Glazers ever did
Ownership by one of the world’s most savage governments would forever tarnish the legacy of Britain’s most famous club
Perhaps, in a way, this had to happen eventually. Football’s narrative arc demanded nothing less. The numbers simply made too little sense. Perhaps like Batman v Superman, Godzilla v Kong, the cronut, Manchester United and Qatar was simply a crossover concept begging to be brought into existence. Indulge me for a second. I’m thinking pre-season tours to Doha. I’m thinking an Mbappé/Rashford reality TV job-swap. I’m thinking luxury party barges on Manchester Ship Canal. A hologrammatic New Trafford to sit directly above the old one. A Phil Jones mural visible from space.
And so to the news that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani – a private Qatari individual with no direct connection to Qatar itself, unless you churlishly count the fact that he is its head of state – is interested in purchasing United. Or perhaps simply a stake in United rather than a full takeover. Or, according to which report you read, not necessarily Thani himself but a fund linked to the royal family, or perhaps the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund.
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