With a successful season having been brought to a close, and with the opening of the Summer transfer window, it appears that Manchester United have found themselves more occupied than in recent years with regards to transfer dealings.
Indeed every year a spate of names are often linked with the club, normally with such reputable sources as the brother of the mother of the toilet cleaner at Old Trafford, and yet as opposed to previous years, it appears Sir Alex Ferguson has looked to shake up the current squad, looking to replace outgoing stars of the past and shipping out those that may be surplus to requirements.
However, the source of the financing of such deals has also been the subject of discussion and speculation. Notable examples include rumours of a possible floatation of a minority of shares onto the stock market in Asia, making United go public for the first time since being taken over by the Glazer family.
However, one group that have resurfaced is that of Qatar Holdings, a name often linked with Manchester United in the last year has once again come to the fore this Summer with some believing that it was their intervention that led to a paying off of the much-maligned Payment-In-Kind notes that had been the source of much of the high interest payments accrued by the Glazers. From this it was thought that a full takeover bid may well be launched and providing United with the kind of financial muscle currently being experienced by fierce rivals City.
However, many who will have been following developments in other parts of Europe will have been sceptical about the possibility of a bid, particularly given the Qatari group’s spending on French club, Paris Saint-Germain, taking a 70% majority stake in the club, helping to stabilise the finances of the club. Naturally with such an announcement, the thought of a takeover at United will appear highly doubtful, and on 15th June, the doubts were confirmed as Qatar Holdings issued a denial of being in negotiations with United’s owners, or that they had ever been looking to do a deal in the first place.
Quite why such stories had been allowed to continue without comment from the fund is likely to be looked upon strangely. However, fans are more likely to continue asking questions as to the lack of transparency with regards to the running of the club, with the Glazers notoriously refusing to make it clear what their dealings entail, the latest of which being the spontaneous paying off of the PIK notes that had been a source of such heavy payments in the past. Regardless of this turn of events, it is more than likely that discussion and debate will continue as to the future ownership of the club, particularly given the lack of popularity for the American family.