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UK officials look into business records of Man United bidder Sheikh Jassim

Advancing to the second-round bid to buy Manchester United, the Qatari is fully confident of the proposal for Old Trafford.

United Kingdom government officials have discreetly flagged concerns on Manchester United bidder Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, according to sources of Bloomberg.

Per the report, an internal government analysis has sought to investigate the history of the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) chairman, specifically previous regulatory failings at the UK unit of the QIB that have raised concerns among several officials.

In 2016, the Bank of England (BOE) fined the UK unit of the QIB £1.4 million for violating capital requirements.

The offences were imposed on the financial sector as Andrew Bailey, then CEO of the Prudential Regulation Authority and now the BOE governor, voiced that QIB had “failed to meet some of the most basic regulatory standards.”

During the 2016 breach, QIB responded by communicating that it took “remedial action.”

It should be noted that there is no involvement by QIB for the Manchester United bid as the proposal is undertaken personally by Sheikh Jassim. The internal governance study will unlikely intervene in Sheikh Jassim’s proposal for Old Trafford.

Last month, the Qatari advanced into a second-round bid to buy Manchester United, which is expected to be worth about five billion pounds, according to BBC reports.

The move also witnessed Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus join the race alongside Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Zilliacus voiced that Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe should join forces and submit a joint bid instead of contending against one another.

“To bid against each other would just drive up the value price, it benefits no one else but the current owners. They will walk away with a massive premium. Instead we should focus on what can we do for Manchester United,” the Finnish businessman said.

Despite the additional bidder, Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are still perceived as the frontrunners to buy United if the Glazers do sell.

However, it is still likely that the Glazers don’t sell the club and will only seek a minority investment.

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