Both groups publicly in the race to acquire Man United have ignored requests by takeover brokers Raine Group to keep certain details of the process closely contained, Football Insider has learned.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS and a Qatari consortium fronted by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani have both submitted soft bids to buy United from the Glazer family.
However, neither party has met the Glazers’ £6billion valuation and it is believed that the sale process could now be delayed until some time shortly before the end of the season.
It has been reported that the Qatari group and Ratcliffe have filed offers worth between £4.5bn and £5bn.
Raine Group, who were tasked by the Glazers with overseeing the takeover process, have previously requested that specific financial details remain under wraps, including the proposed structure and value of offers.
But Football Insider has been told of several instances wherein the prospective takeover groups themselves or those acting on their behalf have flouted this directive.
While Raine Group would never have realistically expected a deal of this potential magnitude to go through without leaks, one well-placed source said the volume of information disseminated is surprising.
There have been fewer offers for the club than expected, which has given United’s Qatar suitors in particular confidence that their bid will ultimately be accepted.
US firm Elliott Management are the latest group to publicly offer to finance a deal to buy United, but they have dismissed reports that they themselves would submit a bid for 60 per cent of the club.
Another unnamed group from across the pond has also been linked with a full takeover.
Football Insider understands that the Qatari group meanwhile have not been deterred by the backlash that has greeted Newcastle United owners PIF’s apparent admission in a US court case to be a vehicle of the Saudi state.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters has previously said that ownership regimes could be removed if they are retrospectively found to be state-governed, an accusation that has also been levelled at Sheikh Jassim’s consortium.