Exclusive: Journalist responds to Sheikh Jassim links with Tottenham after Man Utd takeover failure

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Ben Jacobs has provided an exclusive update on the situation with Sheikh Jassim as he’s linked with possible interest in buying Tottenham or Inter Milan after his attempted takeover of Manchester United fell through.

Writing in his exclusive column for the Daily Briefing, Jacobs provided some insight into what went wrong with Sheikh Jassim and his attempt at purchasing Man Utd, while it seems his failure there will not immediately necessarily lead him to try to get his hands on Spurs or Inter instead.

United fans will no doubt be disappointed not to be rid of the Glazers, but Jacobs also has some interesting insight into the kind of role Sir Jim Ratcliffe could play as he bids for a 25% stake at Old Trafford.

Still, it seems there’s nothing to report on Tottenham for now, so it might be some time before there’s anything more concrete on that particular story.

“A lot of people have also asked me why Sheikh Jassim withdrew from the process and whether he could return,” Jacobs said.

“The withdrawal came in part because Nine Two Foundation held final talks last week and couldn’t reach a breakthrough. They also grew fatigued by the process. The timing of their withdrawal would also suggest they knew Ratcliffe had made significant progress. I was always told the group would walk before they were formally rejected if they felt they couldn’t win.

“Sheikh Jassim’s bid obviously looks very appealing on paper. He offered over £5bn, he would have wiped Manchester United’s £1bn debt and there was £1.4bn allocated for pledged investment. This figure was raised from £0.8bn after April to essentially match what Ratcliffe will pay for a 25% stake. This may not have been intentional but it certainly presents a clear contrast. Sheikh Jassim specified his pledged investment whereas it’s unclear how money from a Ratcliffe sale (for around the same amount) will be used within the club, and how much of it.

“But those close to the sellers have consistently argued the reality of Jassim’s bid did not match the PR and that the Qatari banker was not often directly engaged in the process, instead using several intermediaries including an ex-US government official.”

He added: “Sheikh Jassim’s withdrawal is understood to be total. The offer has not been left on the table in any capacity. And despite links with Spurs and Inter, I am also told as it stands he is not considering buying another football club.”

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  1. Spurs fan since 1946 season ticket holder since 1968 100% against middle east takeover for obvious reasons

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