UK ministers welcome Qatari bid for Manchester United

U.K. government figures say they would privately welcome Qatari investment into Manchester United, as the club’s owners consider a £4 billion bid from a member of the Middle East state’s ruling class, POLITICO reports.

A senior U.K. trade envoy told POLITICO that Britain should “absolutely be embracing foreign investment into this country from the Middle East, whether it’s in football or green energy,” when asked about the potential sale of one of the world’s most famous football clubs into Qatari ownership.

Another key U.K. government figure, a minister with a close interest in the proposed deal, said the bid by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani — the chairman of the Qatari Islamic Bank — would be “good investment” if it came with assurances that the wider community would benefit.

Both senior figures were speaking on condition of anonymity. An official from the Department for Business and Trade said the U.K. government was not actively involved in Manchester United’s potential sale and that the department has “no view at all” on Qatar’s bid

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