Sheikh Jassim complains to Man Utd about ‘false’ statements by Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Sheikh Jassim complains to Man Utd about 'false' statements by Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Legal representatives for Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani have sent legal letters to Manchester United lawyers over “false” statements they allege were made by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, it has been claimed.

Sheikh Jassim launched a bid to buy the Premier League club after owners the Glazer family confirmed they were exploring investment options. The Qatari banker was unsuccessful in his efforts, though, with United confirming a 25 percent investment from rival bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe took aim at Sheikh Jassim in February, asking whether he even exists. The Qatari has fired back, though, with legal letters alleging “a pattern of demonstrably false and defamatory” statements, according to The Athletic.

The same report indicates Sheikh Jassim has demanded “immediate corrective action” to the club’s SEC filings, and also alleges Ratcliffe breached a confidentiality agreement with his comments in a February interview. Mirror Football has contacted Manchester United for comment.

“Still nobody’s ever seen him, actually,” Ratcliffe said of Sheikh Jassim when making public statements in February. “The Glazers never met him. I’m not sure he exists!” he added, seemingly in jest.

“I don’t know (if he was the only bidder). They were obviously there and there was a whole host of people on the team and in the squad. I didn’t ever meet them. But it was it was a very odd affair.”

Ratcliffe himself initially made efforts to secure a 69 percent stake in United in a move which would have seen him take the Glazers’ holding. Ultimately, though, the lower holding of 25 percent was agreed, as a cost of around £1.3billion to the INEOS chief.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured in 2023


Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment was officially announced in February
(
AFP via Getty Images)

According to The Athletic, the Qataris have taken action following an SEC filing from United in January. This filing alleged the bid failed to provide “customary financing commitment letters”, something which Sheikh Jassim’s party argue created a “misleading” impression.

The same report indicates Sheikh Jassim’s lawyers have contested the comments from Ratcliffe about him never having met the Glazers. They make reference to a July 2023 meeting with Joel and Avram Glazer, while Joe Ravitch of Raine Group – who oversaw the sale – also recalled a meeting with the banker.

“We met Jassim. He was in New York. He’s a lovely guy; a very smart guy,” Ravitch told The Times. “The Qataris were very real. They were very smart guys, very thoughtful. I don’t know why they didn’t appreciate the value (of the club) but we were not their adviser.

“We tried as the seller to explain the value to them, and they put what they thought was a series of very serious bids on the table.”

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