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Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has reportedly withdrawn from the process of acquiring Manchester United, according to sources at BBC Sport.

Sheikh Jassim had previously submitted a bid of £5 billion for the club, but discussions this week have ultimately broken down, marking the end of his pursuit of Manchester United.

The Glazer family, who acquired Manchester United for £790 million in 2005, had announced their consideration of a sale in November 2022, attracting interest from various parties. Among the bidders, British businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos Group was a prominent contender.

Earlier this month, BBC Sport reported that Sir Jim Ratcliffe was contemplating offering to purchase a minority stake in the club as a potential solution to the ongoing ownership situation.

Both Ineos and Sheikh Jassim's bids were in the vicinity of £5 billion. However, Sheikh Jassim's intentions had consistently leaned towards acquiring the club in its entirety.

Throughout this period, Manchester United fans have continued to voice their concerns and objections regarding the Glazer family's ownership, with protests taking place both inside and outside Old Trafford.

Notably, it has been suggested that Sheikh Jassim's offer would have involved a substantial cash transaction that could have eliminated existing debt. Furthermore, more than £1.4 billion would have been allocated for projects such as new stadium development, training facilities, player acquisitions, and community regeneration initiatives.

Recent financial figures disclosed in March revealed that Manchester United owed £969.6 million, encompassing gross debt, bank loans, and outstanding transfer fees.

As of now, no public statements have been made by any party involved in these negotiations, including the Glazer family, who initiated a 'strategic review' of the club's ownership last November, suggesting the potential for a sale.

While the complexities and uncertainties surrounding this process have led to various reports and speculations, it is clear that the Glazer family will remain in control for the foreseeable future, potentially sparking disappointment and resentment among a significant portion of the Manchester United fanbase who believe that the club's current challenges are closely tied to the ownership.

Chief executive Richard Arnold recently addressed the issue during a Fans Forum meeting, stating that "the work is ongoing."

Additionally, it's noteworthy that Manchester United has not released its financial results for the end of 2023, and no official release date has been provided.

Figures shared in June had indicated that the club was on track for record revenues, primarily due to improvements in matchday and commercial revenue, surpassing the previous revenue peak of £627.1 million recorded in 2019.

In summary, as this process remains in a state of flux, Manchester United fans and the football world at large continue to await further developments, while the club's ownership structure and its implications for the future of the club remain subjects of intense scrutiny and debate. Photo by Steve Collis from Melbourne, Australia, Wikimedia commons.