The INEOS billionaire is still due to buy 25 per cent of the club in a 1.3billion deal, but on Tuesday it emerged that an American businessman would also apparently be buying a small stake. Leon Cooperman, a former hedge fund manager with a net worth of $2.6bn, has reportedly bought just under one million shares in United.
It is the first time his name has come up in the takeover race, which is set to come to a close in the next few weeks. Nearly a year since the Glazers launched its strategic review, which effectively put the club up for sale, only a select few names have been linked with bids.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani was perhaps the most high-profile of these, but the chances of Glazers accepting a full-scale sale ended when the Qatari withdrew his proposal last month. Both he and Ratcliffe – who initially wanted 69 per cent of shares – had been made to wait by the Glazers after tabling their 5bn-plus bids with the owners clearly dragging their feet despite the figures on the table.
Al-Thani became disillusioned with the Glazers asking price and had enough. Its a feeling many United fans have felt not only within the past year, but past few and beyond.
The American family have failed to communicate with the fanbase, despite making it one of their pledges after the failed Super League breakaway in 2021. The bits of information gathered from them amid the takeover process has had to be extracted by journalists and reporters.
There have been no official updates from the board regarding the process in almost a year. Yet it has emerged that an unknown American businessman has supposedly bought a number of shares in the club without so much as a warning or nod.
The lack of clarity around the process is rightly infuriating fans. The investment itself is not the issue, but the absence of foresight shows the Glazers have not learnt, or perhaps are unwilling to.
There has been no confirmation from the board about Coopermans supposed injection. All this fuels the fire when it comes to anti-Glazer protests.