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Qatar's Manchester United takeover could monetize new Mideast fan base

A Qatari takeover of the English soccer club would “turbocharge” the global presence of the English Premier League, analysts told Al-Monitor
Qatar's Emir and Paris Saint-Germain owner Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (C) looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on March 6, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

If Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s bid to buy Manchester United succeeds, he could capitalize on nearly all of the soccer club’s global fan base of 1.1 billion people, including its followers in the Middle East, a soccer finance expert told Al-Monitor. 

Al Thani, a banker and the son of a former prime minister of Qatar, is the favorite to acquire Manchester United ahead of British businessman Jim Ratcliffe due to the potential business opportunities for the club’s current owners, the Glazer family, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

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