Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin’s close relationship will be key if a Qatari bid for Manchester United is successful, according to a BBC journalist.
In November Man Utd’s controversial owners, the Glazer family announced they were considering selling the club while exploring “strategic alternatives”.
Parties wishing to buy Man Utd now have a soft deadline of February 17 to make their first proposal.
So far British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who owns the chemical company Ineos, is the only person to have made a public declaration for the Old Trafford club.
However, there have been reports of interest from European consortiums, American venture capitalists and oil-rich Middle Eastern states since November.
In the past week in particular it has emerged that a Qatari bid will likely be launched for the club.
However, given Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) ownership of PSG, any Qatari move to buy a majority stake in Man Utd will have to come through private individuals or a different organisation in light of UEFA’s rules on dual ownership.
UEFA ownership rules
According to the BBC’S Simon Stone, PSG President Al-Khelaifi is set to be a key figure in any Qatari ownership bid for Man Utd, even if he could have no direct involvement in the club.
UEFA rules claim that no two clubs participating in a UEFA club competition may be directly or indirectly controlled by the same entity, meaning that if Qatar buy Man Utd, the club would not be able to compete against PSG in the Champions League should both teams qualify.
In turn, given it is reportedly felt by many that all Qatari funds are distributed from a central source, UEFA would have to change its rules on dual ownership for any Qatari bid to be successful.
Given Man Utd and PSG are not in the same competition this season, any amendments to the governing body’s multi-club ownership regulations would not need to be activated until the end of July.
And according to the BBC, Al-Khelaifi could therefore be “key” in helping this process given his relationship with UEFA president Ceferin.
Al-Khelaifi and Ceferin’s relationship
Al-Khelaifi took a more prominent position in football’s political sphere after he decided against PSG joining the European Super League in 2021. The decision has been viewed as a central reason why UEFA was able to resist the plan.
Since then, Al-Khelaifi has become chairman of the European Clubs’ Association and according to the BBC, has developed a “close relationship” with Ceferin.
It is allegedly “impossible” that any Qatari bid for Man Utd could be put together without Al-Khelaifi’s knowledge.