Jim Ratcliffe, prospective Manchester United owner has said he would rather walk away than pay a “stupid” price to acquire the Red Devils.
The British billionaire has insisted that he will not pay a price he would later regret with more bidders expected to enter the race to take over Old Trafford.
Manchester United’s despised owners, the Glazer family, announced in November that they would be conducting a strategic review.
Putting the club up for sale is one option they considered following 17 years after they bought the club for £790 million as part of a highly leveraged deal.
Any sale of the Premier League giants, Manchester United would possibly exceed the biggest sports deal of $5.2 billion including debt and investments paid for Chelsea, according to a previous report.
And the Americans’ asking price for the United is believed to be $6 billion.
Meanwhile, the 70-year-old Jim Ratcliffe and founder of chemicals producer INEOS has been a life-long fan of Manchester United before slotting in a bid for the club in February.
The British billionaire is one of two interested parties who have publicly declared their bids to Raine, the merchant bank assigned to assist the club in assessing offers.
Jim’s arch-rival for the bid is Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani who, according to the report could raise the price to take over the ownership of the club.
Ratcliffe and his team negotiated with the club on Friday, March 17 during a visit to Old Trafford and examined the Carrington training complex, a day after Sheikh Jassim’s representatives had visited the club.
However, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the 70-year-old Ratcliffe said he would not pay over the odds for the 20-time English Champions, describing Manchester United as a “community asset” rather than a financial one.
Ratcliffe said: “How do you decide the price of a painting?”, he asked. “How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint.”
“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”
Sheikh Jassim is proposing a debt-free takeover of Old Trafford, while Ratcliffe, who already owns French club Nice has said his bid for the United will not add to the existing debt levels.
Reports have suggested Ratcliffe will submit a second bid for the Reds later this week as he looks to move forward with a deal.
According to Sky Sports report, Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe were understood to be preparing second bids for the Reds before a Wednesday deadline for second offers, including several other parties that want to enter the bidding process.
Sky Sports reported that Manchester United are set to receive more than five bids before Wednesday’s deadline for second offers.
Elliott Investment Management has also reportedly made it through to the second stage of the bidding process even though the firm is believed to be offering funding rather than a takeover.
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