Sheikh Jassim lays down gauntlet to Man Utd over takeover funds claim


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The team behind Sheikh Jassim’s unsuccessful bid to buy Manchester United have challenged the club’s claims that they never provided proof of funds.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe ultimately won the takeover race and United, who are awaiting final completion of the deal, have now revealed the details of the negotiations in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Among the statements are claims that Sheikh Jassim, who was pursuing a 100% takeover of United, never actually provided proof of his funds despite being asked to do so on a number of occasions which, if true, would have made it impossible for United to choose his offer.

However, in a statement released via Ben Jacobs, a source close to the bid has rejected such claims and has demanded corrections be made.

“The filing – which is made by MU Plc unilaterally without consulting or having to verify with other parties – refrains from disclosing the most basic and irrefutable facts, both about the financial guarantees given and the level of offers made, all of which are fully documented,” the statement read. “Enquiries are being made with the SEC as to a corrective statement of fact.

“It is also curious to note the widespread media reporting of the inflated level of the other competing bid at the time, and how that stacks up to reality today.”

United‘s filing also claims Sheikh Jassim rejected advice to amend his offers following guidance from the board before ultimately walking away from the process in October, having failed to prove he could actually finance a takeover.

SEC guidelines state that any party found to have knowingly submitted false information “may be subject to criminal sanctions under federal law”.

Meanwhile, Ratcliffe is awaiting the final completion of his takeover bid.

“I’ve met Erik [ten Hag] but it would be inappropriate, really [to speak to players], until it’s all formalised which should be early to mid-February, we hope,” Ratcliffe revealed to reporters earlier this week. “We hope they don’t find anything dodgy in our CV!”

What we know

  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe won the race to buy Man Utd ahead of Sheikh Jassim
  • Club documents claim Sheikh Jassim never proved ability to fund deal
  • Bid team have now called for the statements to be corrected.

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