EPL

Manchester United plans to accelerate after Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes deal

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United’s journey back to the top of world football starts now after completing his £1.3billion deal to become minority owner of the Premier League giants

A year and three months after the club announced a strategic review, and 58 days after a deal was struck, there is finally a new power structure in place at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe has completed his purchase of 25 per cent of the shares owned by the Glazer family, who have been United’s majority owners since their controversial leveraged buyout in 2005.

The Ineos chairman paid 33 US dollars (£26) for each of those shares and the same price for 25 per cent of Class A shares, with 10 times fewer voting rights, following a tender process.

Ratcliffe takes control of football operations as part of the deal and plans to ramp up United’s rebuild after his team looked under the hood and began to make moves during the ratification process.

“To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility,” the British billionaire said.

“This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans.

“Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today.”

Faltering United have not added to their England record 20 league titles since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, winning just four major trophies in that period.

The Red Devils have lost their way under the Glazer family and Ratcliffe’s involvement brings new hope to Old Trafford.

United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: “I would like to welcome Sir Jim as co-owner and look forward to working closely with him and Ineos Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United.”

Ratcliffe’s ownership of United stands at 27.7 per cent as further shares were issued in return for his initial 200m US dollars (£158.5m) capital investment upon completion.

His ownership will increase to 28.9 per cent when he invests a further 100million US dollars (£79.2m) by December 31, 2024.

The outlay from Trawlers Ltd, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, is worth a total of 1.65bn US dollars (£1.3bn).

That deal received Premier League and Football Association approval last week and was officially confirmed on Tuesday evening.

The 71-year-old, who was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, was a United fan growing up and has been a regular presence around the club since the deal was announced on Christmas Eve.

That included Ratcliffe attending United’s Premier League match against Tottenham on January 14 and the Munich air disaster memorial at Old Trafford on February 6.

Sir Dave Brailsford, Ineos’ director of sport, has been an even greater presence and is set for a key role as Ineos takes control of football operations.

Changes have already started and United raised eyebrows across the football world last month when announcing Manchester City’s Omar Berrada as their new chief executive.

United are hoping to bring in Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth as part of their rebuild. The former Football Association technical director has been placed on garden leave after telling the Magpies he was leaving.

The completion of the deal marks the conclusion of a saga which began back in November 2022 when the Glazers announced plans for a strategic review, which could include the sale of the club.

Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim were the front-runners when it became apparent a full sale would be considered, but the latter withdrew last October.

Ratcliffe’s focus shifted to the purchase of a significant minority stake, which has now finally been completed.

Related items

  • Eddie Howe: Joelinton leaving Newcastle for free would have been ‘bad business’ Eddie Howe: Joelinton leaving Newcastle for free would have been ‘bad business’

    Eddie Howe admits Newcastle could not afford to allow “gentle giant” Joelinton to leave on a free transfer after they finally persuaded him to sign a new contract.

    The 27-year-old Brazil international put pen to paper on a long-term deal on Thursday to end fears that he could leave the Magpies for nothing next summer despite becoming one of their most important players.

    Ultimately, the two parties managed to reach agreement over a man whose value on and off the pitch had increased substantially during his time on Tyneside, although head coach Howe knows the financial implications of doing so may impact on his summer business as the club attempts to comply with profit and sustainability limits.

    Howe said: “Of course something like this will have ramifications. You’re potentially lifting wages and that has an impact on your Financial Fair Play sheet.

    “But the alternative is that Joe leaves on a free transfer, which for a player of his quality, would be really bad business from us.

    “I think what has happened has alleviated that problem. But of course it maybe gives you problems elsewhere that you need to fix.”

    Whatever the financial fall-out from tying up Joelinton’s future, the football reasons for doing so are obvious.

    Under head coach Howe, a man who had been branded a flop following his then club record £40million switch from Hoffenheim as a striker during the summer of 2019, has established himself as a midfielder destroyer who played a key role in last season’s top-four Premier League finish.

    He is currently working his way back from thigh tendon surgery – he may or may not play again before the end of the current campaign – and his absence has been particularly telling.

    Securing the popular Brazilian at a time when interest in Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak is mounting sends a message, Howe believes, that the club’s ambition remains intact.

    He said: “It helps with the perception of our ambition and that we’re still desperate to grow and improve. For me, to do that you have to try to keep your best players, you have to try to create something that everyone wants to be part of.”

    Howe thrust Joelinton into a midfield role after defender Ciaran Clark’s dismissal just nine minutes into a 1-1 draw with Norwich in his third game at the helm in November 2021, and he has not looked back since, building himself a reputation as a snarling enforcer, something far removed from his off-field character.

    Howe said: “For the size and stature that he is and how aggressive he is on the pitch, he is a soft, gentle giant off it.”

    Joelinton will be a frustrated bystander once again as the Magpies entertain Tottenham on Saturday hoping for a repeat of the corresponding fixture in April last year when they raced into a 5-0 lead after just 21 minutes before running out 6-1 winners.

    Asked if he had been able to relax during that game, Howe, who has doubts over Lewis Hall and Joe Willock, said with a smile: “Let me tell you, I didn’t feel like that, not even for a second. Not when you’ve got Harry Kane on the other team.

    “He then scores and you start looking at how long is left.”

  • Football rumours: Manchester City leading race for Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala Football rumours: Manchester City leading race for Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala
    What the papers say

    Manchester City will be hoping to stave off competitors Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris St Germain for 21-year-old Bayern Munich forward Jamal Musiala according to the Independent. The 21-year-old from Germany has scored 10 goals in 23 matches in the Bundesliga this season.

    The Mirror says Arsenal are now rethinking their plans for Brentford striker Ivan Toney due to the form of German forward Kai Havertz. The 24-year-old has scored five goals in his last seven matches, with the club now considering looking for a younger forward.

    Chelsea could let 11 players leave the club this summer, the Sun says, with 24-year-old midfielder Conor Gallagher expected to be one of those players.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Viktor Gyokeres: The 25-year-old Sporting Lisbon forward is a top transfer target for Arsenal, but they will have to pay £85million to match the club’s release clause.

    Piero Hincapie: Tottenham could look to sign the 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen defender as manager Ange Postecoglou has made a defender one of his priorities in the summer, Teamtalk says.

  • Unai Emery: Plenty of work for Aston Villa to do in second leg Unai Emery: Plenty of work for Aston Villa to do in second leg

    Aston Villa boss Unai Emery knows his side have plenty of work to do in next week’s Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg in Lille.

    Villa will travel to France with a 2-1 advantage thanks to first-leg goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn gave the on-looking Prince of Wales something to cheer about.

    But Lille showed they are no pushovers and Bafode Diakite’s late header kept the tie alive after they had been repelled by an impressive performance from Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

    Villa must now go to northern France next week and finish the job if they are to make their first European semi-final since they won the European Cup in 1982.

    That will not be an easy task as the French football federation have postponed Lille’s Ligue 1 game this weekend to give them extra time to prepare and they have only been beaten once at home all season.

    Emery, who celebrated his 1,000th game as a manager, said: “Difficult match, we are ready to play another 90 minutes, we played the first 90 minutes, we didn’t control the game like we wanted and defensively we were doing more work than we prepared for because we wanted to control the game with our positioning.

    “With the respect we have got for them, they showed it.

    “The result is tight, but more or less it was a fine for both teams. Now another 90 minutes, enjoy playing in Europe, enjoy playing a quarter-final.

    “Be ready to play 90 minutes, even extra time, even a penalty shootout because now it is in this moment everything is difficult.”

    Lille boss Paulo Fonseca, who almost took over at Newcastle and Tottenham in the last few years, felt Watkins’ goal should have been disallowed for a foul by Morgan Rogers on Ismally.

    “I don’t understand what is going on, it was a foul on the first goal,” he said.

    “I understand it is difficult for the referee with VAR it is just incredible they miss these things. It’s not good what is going on in football, the referees must look at what is going on in the moment.

    “A lot of matches, it is not football, it is blocking like in basketball. The first goal was a clear foul, a clear block. Being physical is one thing, fouling is another.”

    However, after the way they created chances at Villa Park, Fonseca knows the tie is very much alive.

    “We created the opportunity to get a better result,” he added. “I’m satisfied with the courage of my players but at the end of the day, we’ve lost.

    “I know that it’s difficult match, they’ve got great players, a great coach and a lot of experience so they have certain advantages but I must continue to believe it’s possible.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.