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Glazer family 'spending £250k a week on lawyers for Man United takeover deal'

Glazer family 'spending £250k a week on lawyers for Man United takeover deal'
© Reuters
The Glazer family are reportedly spending as much as £250,000 a week on lawyers to help push through Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25% purchase.

Manchester United's owners the Glazer family are reportedly shelling out a whopping £250,000 a week on lawyers to help conclude Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25% purchase of the club.

This time last year, the widely unpopular Americans first signalled their willingness to explore "strategic alternatives" to their stewardship following years of intense protests by supporters.

The Glazers indicated that they would listen to offers for a full sale, leading Ineos chief Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani to engage in a fierce two-horse battle for control of the Red Devils.

While Ratcliffe only wanted to purchase a minority stake at first, Sheikh Jassim endeavoured to buy the club outright and debt-free, ostensibly making him the favourite to oust the Glazer family.

However, after several months and multiple rounds of bidding, the Glazers' £6bn asking price was not met by either party, leading Sheikh Jassim - who apparently went as high as £5bn - to withdraw from the race entirely.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe is pictured at Old Trafford in Manchester, Britain, March 17, 2023© Reuters

With Sheikh Jassim out of the running for good, Ratcliffe moved swiftly to agree a 25% stake worth approximately £1.3bn, which is expected to precede a full takeover at some point in the future.

Ratcliffe's deal is believed to be on the verge of completion, but the Premier League has not yet sanctioned the minority purchase, and according to the Daily Mail, the Glazers are forking out the big bucks to help the process along.

The report claims that the family are spending as much as £250,000 a week - approximately £1m a month - on legal and consultancy fees relating to the deal, as shown by the latest club accounts.

The records supposedly reveal that £7m was shelled out between November 2022 and June of this year, long before Sheikh Jassim pulled out and Ratcliffe shook hands with the Glazers.

The £250,000-a-week package is believed to be more than what several of Man United's most esteemed players are pocketing, with club captain Bruno Fernandes said to be earning £240,000 per week.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured before the match on October 21, 2023© Reuters

Mason Mount, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are also being paid less than what the Glazers are spending on legal fees, but Ratcliffe's arrival should be confirmed over the festive or New Year period.

The 71-year-old - who is also in control of Ligue 1 high-flyers Nice - will oversee significant changes at boardroom level, starting with the exit of CEO Richard Arnold earlier this month.

Director of football John Murtough is also believed to be in danger of losing his job as Ratcliffe undertakes a reshuffle of sporting operations, and he is thought to be eyeing former Liverpool chief Michael Edwards as an ideal acquisition.

Amid the prolonged takeover uncertainty, Man United have struggled for consistency on the field in the early portion of the 2023-24 season, sitting eighth in the Premier League table and bottom of their Champions League group.

Erik ten Hag's team have won four of their last five Premier League games, though, and they can rise back up to sixth in the top flight with victory over Everton on Sunday afternoon.

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Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe on March 17, 2023
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