‘He’s a serious man’ – Barcelona boss Xavi backs Qatari bid for Manchester United
This article first appear at ‘He’s a serious man’ – Barcelona boss Xavi backs Qatari bid for Manchester United
Barcelona boss Xavi has given his support to Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s bid to buy Manchester United and says he would be a ‘good option’ to replace the Glazers.
A Qatari bid fronted by Sheikh Jassim is one of two stand-out proposals received by investment bank Raine Group, with INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe the other early favourite to buy the club.
Other bids have also been made – with US hedge fund Elliot Management lodging a proposal for potential financing, for example – and Raine will now assess the offers over the coming weeks.
The Qatari offer would be entirely debt free and Sheikh Jassim has promised to reinvest all profits back into the club and local community.
Xavi knows Qatar well having spent six years in the country as both a player and coach at Al Sadd, while he has had various ambassadorial roles.
The 43-year-old is in Manchester for the second leg of Barca’s Europa League knockout round play-off – with the score finely poised at 2-2 – and he believes Sheikh Jassim would do a ‘good job’ in charge of United if his bid is successful.
Asked initially by a Spanish journalist about the possibility of United soon being under Qatari ownership, Xavi replied: ‘It’s the law of economics, supply and demand.
‘I have a good relationship with the Sheikh. He’s a serious man, a responsible person, and I’m sure he would do a good job.’
Xavi was probed further on his relationship with Sheikh Jassim later on in Wednesday’s pre-match press conference, replying in English this time: ‘Yes, I know him so well. I think he’s a very good person with responsibilities, serious.
‘I think he would be a very good option for United.’
Asked how he knows him so well, Xavi replied bluntly: ‘Because I worked in Qatar for six years.’
The Qatari bid for United has been met with criticism and scrutiny; Rainbow Devils, United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters group, released a statement saying they had ‘deep concerns’ over the bid while it could prove difficult to separate Sheikh Jassim and his backers from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund – which already owns Paris Saint-Germain.
First appear at ‘He’s a serious man’ – Barcelona boss Xavi backs Qatari bid for Manchester United