By Victor Kanayo
Manchester United on Sunday revealed that Billionaire, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has completed acquisition of 25% stake in the Premier League club with the Glazer family.
The deal, according to the English giants is worth £1.3 billion.
This was disclosed in a statement by Manchester United via its website.
Part of the statement said, “Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU) announced today that it has entered into an agreement under which Chairman of INEOS, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will acquire 25 per cent of Manchester United’s Class B shares and up to 25 per cent of Manchester United’s Class A shares and provide an additional $300 million intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.
“As part of the transaction, INEOS has accepted a request by the Board to be delegated responsibility for the management of the Club’s football operations. This will include all aspects of the men’s and women’s football operations and Academies, alongside two seats on the Manchester United PLC board and the Manchester United Football Club boards.
“The joint ambition is to create a world-class football operation building on the Club’s many existing strengths, including the successful off-pitch performance that it continues to enjoy.”
Responding, Ratcliffe, said: “As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the Club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United Board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the Club. Whilst the commercial success of the Club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.
“We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the Club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.
“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the Club – the Board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the Club forward.
“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”
Billionaire’s Other Investments
As captured by Eurosport, the 71-year-old owns French side Nice and holds a 33% stake in the Mercedes Formula 1 operation.sir
He also bought over the cycling outfit formerly known as Team Sky in 2019, renaming it Ineos Grenadiers. Brailsford joined Team Sky from its inception in 2010 and was instrumental in its success, with his ‘marginal gains’ approach helping the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome win the Tour de France.
Brailsford retained his position as team principal during the takeover and was appointed director of sport at Ineos in 2021.
In Ratcliffe, United have a shrewd operator and renowned businessman who will be eager to get United back to winning ways and arrest a decade-long slump.
United Poor Run Amidst Management Crisis
The reign of the Glazer family, who bought United in 2005 for just under £800m, has been marked by fan protests amid a startling loss of form since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
That was the last time United lifted the Premier League and they currently sit seventh under Erik ten Hag following a poor start to the season that saw them dumped out of Europe before Christmas for the first time since the 2005/06 campaign.
Of the major titles to be won, the English giants have added only the Europa League, one FA Cup and two League Cups to their trophy haul in the post-Fergie era.