Manchester United are not going to be the subject of a takeover by the Qatari royal family, it has emerged.
Qatar Holding, which is the royal family’s investment arm, has been linked with a £1.5 billion takeover of Sir Alex Ferguson’s table-topping team.
The supposed interest prompted high-yield bonds in the club to close on an all-time high on Tuesday.
But the rumours that United will be added to Qatar Holdings’ £40 billion portfolio have now been strenuously denied.
An anonymous source told Reuters: “Qatar Holding is not and has never been in discussions to buy Manchester United football club. There is no truth to the rumours”.
United were bought by the Glazer family in 2005 for £790 million in a deeply unpopular deal that has seen waves of protests from disgruntled fans.
A spin-off club, FC United of Manchester, was founded in 2005 as a protest against the takeover which has seen the Glazers saddle the club with debt.
Qatar Holdings bought Harrods last near and has a impressive portfolio which includes large shareholdings in Sainsbury’s, Barclay’s Bank and Volkswagen.
The small Gulf country, which is one of the world’s richest states thanks to its oil and gas reserves, will host the 2022 World Cup.