Man Utd ownership: who is Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani? Qatari banker’s net worth and background

The younger brother to the Emir of Qatar has confirmed his intention to buy Manchester United with the club up for sale by current owners the Glazer family.

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With Manchester United having set a ‘soft deadline’ for takeover bids of 10pm last night (Friday, February 17), there are now two leading candidates who have emerged as potential future owners of the club.

One is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire and chairman of Ineos and the other is Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani who is the chairman of one of Qatar’s largest banks. The name Thani will be familiar to football fans across the world as the ruling family of Qatar which hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals last year. However, Jassim bin Hamad may be less recognisable and here is everything Manchester United supporters need to know about their club’s potential new owner:

Who is Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani?

Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the older brother to Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar and is the third son of Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani the former Emir. Jassim was the heir apparent to his father, being the first child of his second wife, but abdicated his position as Crown Prince in 2003 in favour of his younger brother.

The 44-year old is the current chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank, one of Qatar’s largest banks, and has a reported net worth of $1.3 billion USD (roughly between £1 billion and £1.1 billion GBP). He has deep connections to England having been educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and International College, Sherborne School in Dorset.

As wel as servng as the chairman of QIB, Sheikh Jassim is also an honorary president of the Qatar National Cancer Society (QNCS), chair of the high committee for coordination and follow up, chair of the supreme council for the environment and natural resources and a member of the Board of Trustees at Qatar Foundation. He is married to his cousin, Sheikha Bothaina bint Hamad Al Thani and they have eight children together.

Before being appointed as heir apparent in 1996, Jassim was a second lieutenant in the Qatari armed forces. He replaced his older half-brother Mishaal bin Hamad Al Thani as heir apparent but abdicated seven years later when he is reported to have sent a letter to his father claiming to have never wanted the position.

What has Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani said about Manchester United bid?

A statement from Sheikh Jassim’s Qatari consortium said: “The bid plans to return the club to its former glories. The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports. The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world.”

Sheikh Jassim is reported to have been a fan of Manchester United since 1992, which is where the name Nine Two Foundation originates from. It is also said to relate to the famous Class of 92, the group of homegrown players that included Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary Neville.