Saudi Arabia takeover of Manchester United not in pipeline – chief

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman does not intend to buy Manchester United, the kingdom’s government has said, while confirming its sovereign wealth fund held sponsorship talks with the Premier League giants

The Sun reported Prince Mohammad was stepping up a bid over the weekend but Saudi media minister Turki Al-Shabanah has distanced the country from a takeover.

“Reports claiming that HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman intends on buying @ManUtd are completely false,” Al-Shabanah tweeted from a verified account on Twitter.

Al-Shabanah added that United held a meeting with Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund “to discuss sponsorship opportunity. No deal has been materialised.”

The Glazer family bought United in 2005 and maintained control after floating part of the record 20-time English champions on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. They have turned United into one of the biggest money-making machines in football, with the club last week projecting revenue for the financial year of between £615 million ($794m) and £630m ($813m). On Thursday, United announced record second quarter revenues of £208.6m and figures showed it cost £19.6m to sack Jose Mourinho back in December.

United’s share price suffered its biggest drop in over a year last November, with more than £300m wiped off the club’s value on the NYSE prior to the opening of trading. The club had been valued by as the most valuable team in world sport at £3.75bn ($4.8 billion) in August 2018.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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