Qatar Holding deny Manchester United takeover bid

Qatar Holding today joined Manchester United in quashing rumours of a takeover with a source close to the Gulf Arab state's sovereign wealth fund saying no talks had been held with the English soccer club.

Premier League leaders United have repeatedly said the Old Trafford club was not for sale but its high-yield bonds [MNU.UL] rose to near record highs on Tuesday on speculation of a deal.

"Qatar Holding is not and has never been in discussions to buy Manchester United football club. There is no truth to the rumours," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

While United have been building a four-point lead in the table as they seek a record 19th league title, off the pitch they have been the subject of media reports saying their American owners, the Glazers, are on the verge of selling up.

The owners are unpopular among many fans with some donning green and gold scarves on match days in protest at the debt the Glazers have burdened the club with.

The colours are those of the Newton Heath works team, United's predecessors, and those wearing them are disillusioned by what they see as exploitation of the club by foreign owners who have raised ticket prices and loaded United with debt.

The Glazers, who bought the club in 2005 for about 790 million pounds ($1.28 billion), surprised fans in November when a source said they had agreed to pay off a 220 million pounds payment-in-kind (PIK) loan from funds outside the club.

A month earlier they had ensured United kept hold of England striker, Wayne Rooney, who had turned the spotlight on the Americans by saying he wanted to leave Old Trafford because the club lacked clout in the transfer market.

Rooney ended up signing a five-year contract after saying he had been convinced to stay because "the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history".

Despite what could be seen as moves by the Glazers to court favour with the fans, speculation has been rife that they plan to sell and rumours have centred on Qatar Holding as the buyer.

In January, United denied they had received an approach from Qatar Holding to buy the club [ID:nLDE70M05X] and last week a spokeswoman said "The club is not for sale".

Manchester already has Arab owners in town as neighbouring City are owned by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan who has made them the world's richest club and spent hundreds of millions of pounds on players.

The tiny Gulf Arab state of Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, in December won the right to host the 2022 World Cup finals.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas