Man Utd takeover latest: Ratcliffe in Manchester, Glazer protest, second bid ‘deadline’ & more

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Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani did not travel to Manchester with his representatives for the meetings.

Manchester United’s takeover took another twist on Friday as Sir Jim Ratcliffe was shown around the club’s facilities and even briefly met manager Erik ten Hag.

Ratcliffe’s visit to Old Trafford and the Carrington training ground came after the Qatari delegation were in Manchester on Thursday and held a number of meetings with club departments, while the Raine Group - the investment bank overseeing the sale - were also in attendance.

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Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani did not travel to Manchester with his representatives for the meetings, but Ratcliffe made the journey along with fellow owners of Ineos and the company’s sports chiefs. Their Old Trafford arrival and departure were filmed by the waiting media, with footage of Ratcliffe leaving the stadium circulating on social media, while he was also seen shaking hands with United CEO Richard Arnold.

The Ineos delegation then travelled to Carrington, which disrupted the usual logistics for Ten Hag’s pre-match press conference. The Dutchman addressed the media at 12pm on Friday and informed the press - with ManchesterWorld in attendance - that he had spoken with Ratcliffe briefly.

“I just met them and shook hands but I am focused on the game,” said Ten Hag. “We play a big game on Sunday and all our focus is on that. Others in the club are dealing with potential investors. My job is focus on the game so let’s talk about the Fulham game, it is a big tie so let’s get ready for that.”

Meanwhile, a few fans gathered outside the training ground to protest against the Glazers’ ownership with banners saying ‘Qatar in, Glazers out’ and ‘full sale only’ shared by Gerry Deakin on Twitter.

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It comes as the Daily Mail report that second bids for the club must be made by the middle of next week, with Wednesday the most likely deadline. They add there could be another round of offers and Easter may be the cut-off point.

Meanwhile, environmental group Greenpeace UK’s co-executive director, Areeba Hamid, claimed the takeover process at United had led to a ‘dirty derby’ between the Qatar bid and Ineos.

“It’s worrying that the Man United bidding process has turned into a dirty derby between entities linked to fossil fuels,” she said.

“The Qatari Islamic Bank gets some of its revenues from oil and gas. INEOS is a major producer of plastic, pesticides and fossil fuels, as well as one of the UK’s leading fracking firms... Whichever way this derby goes, the winner won’t be the climate."

ManchesterWorld has contacted INEOS for comment, but is yet to receive a response.

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