The Premier League rumour mill has been almost dominated by Manchester United takeover talk in recent weeks and months with significant offers being made to the Glazer family by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group, and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, but the latter has now refused to meet the mind boggling valuation the Glazer’s have on the club, pulled out of the deal and it is being suggested that he could now turn his attentions to Tottenham Hotspur as he still has English top flight ambitions.
Sheikh Jassim had previously, and loosely been linked with having a tentative interest in Spurs, and whilst it is now fully expected that Ratcliffe will sign a deal that sees him take an initial 25% in the Old Trafford outfit, prior to then completing a staged full takeover of the club, it is believed that he has reignited his original interest in us, and could well now broach a similar sort of structured deal with owner the ENIC Group and the Lewis Family Trust, and if that happens given the start that Ange Postecoglou has had at the club, our odds for champions league qualification would probably improve again.
Qatar’s interest in football is not new and was demonstrated by their holding of the last World Cup Finals, but rivals Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi have stolen a march on the club level game in England, through their ownership of Newcastle United and Manchester City respectively, but Sheikh Jassim’s efforts to snare the Red Devil’s were in part helped by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Paris Saint-Germain’s owner and president, and he has already been looking to expand his own portfolio of clubs by expressing interest in Spanish and Brazilian sides. He is achieving this through key minority investment moves in multiple clubs through his Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) group, and much earlier in the year he met with chairman Daniel Levy over potential investment.
If reports are to be believed, Al Khalaifi is now likely to pull QSI from any involvement in a future deal, and simply serve as an advisor to a Sheikh Jassim consortium that proverbially picks up the ball and runs with it from here.
With such close ties between the two, having such a foothold in French football with PSG, and then potentially English football with Spurs, would certainly double down on Qatar’s ultimate intentions in the game.
Whether Sheikh Jassim ultimately follows through with such a monumental deal for Spurs and states such an intention, remains to be seen, but given his more recent profile he certainly going to be linked to a few more clubs yet, and simply looking at it from a conflict of interest point of view and UEFA’s European competitions rules, a clear line of separation between QSI and any Jassim consortium makes all the sense in the world on that front, and from our point of view would be logistically more sound than having QSI as a minority holder.
Particularly, as in the last few months talks have been held by QSI to invest in two new clubs, one of which is Malaga which is already Qatari owned – Abdullah Al Thani, a distant relative of Qatar’s previous ruler Sheikh Hamad and a member of the ruling family. Having now found themselves relegated to the third tier, it seems Al Thani’s interest in them has dried up, his money certainly did and they seemed to lurch from one disaster to another at that point.
QSI, under Al-Khalaifi’s charge, given the experience he has gained from his years at PSG now, are well placed to reinvigorate them – from a Spurs perspective though it is another ball to juggle in QSI’s growing empire, and fans would want us to be the sole focus of a new owners interest after the last few years we have had.
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