Eric Ramsay believes Manchester United have all the ingredients to go to the next level under Ineos – but Erik ten Hag’s former coach felt he had to leave for a dream first managerial job at Minnesota United.

The 32-year-old swapped Uniteds following March’s derby defeat at Manchester City, with his move to the Twin Cities seeing him become the youngest permanent manager in Major League Soccer history.

It is an exciting new chapter in an impressive coaching journey that led Ramsay to Swansea, Shrewsbury and Chelsea before joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching set-up in June 2021.

Initially focused on individual players and set-plays, the Welshman’s remit broadened over time and he is looking forward to putting his experiences into practice as Minnesota’s second-ever head coach.

“I have never been desperate to be a head coach by a certain age or a certain point,” Ramsay told the PA news agency ahead of his first match in charge against Los Angeles FC this weekend.

“But I felt naturally I was sort of gravitating toward that opportunity coming.

“I’ve had some opportunities over the course of the last two years to go into the Championship or League One and for whatever reason haven’t pursued those.

“The club itself is phenomenally well set up. The ownership is really stable. I think that’s incredibly attractive for a first-time head coach.

“From a club perspective, the league and the wider US context, in terms of the competitions being held here in the coming years, the general feel around the sport, I think it’s as perfect an opportunity as I’ll get.”

Ramsay also had a stint working with Wales during his time at United, where he felt like he squeezed in a lot at an institution that garners “endless attention” and “feels like no other club”.

The 32-year-old never got caught up in the background noise – “if you as a coach were to be too drawn into that then you’d lose focus on what you’re there to do” – and enjoyed his time there despite the difficult spells.

“To have the opportunity to be one step removed from three managers and Michael Carrick, working at Man United over two-and-a-half years, I don’t think you’re getting better preparation for your own role as head coach because it’s a really trying set of circumstances with a lot of intensity,” Ramsay said.

“(Erik) is obviously incredibly focused, has real conviction as to how he wants the team to play, how he feels the group should be managed, as you’d expect of anyone who hits that level as a manager.

“Obviously, he’s had some difficult circumstances to deal with this year, so hopefully once that gets cleaned up then we’re going to see the trajectory recaptured that we saw last year.”

Injuries have proven the main difficulty in a bumpy season and Ten Hag is under the spotlight heading into Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against rivals Liverpool.

But Ramsay is confident better times lie around the corner at Old Trafford, having been impressed by new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos team.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Minnesota United FC (@mnufc)


“As has been presented in the media and as I’m sure you’ve heard lots of people say, the Ineos vision for Man United is really exciting,” Ramsay said.

“They, as well, have a lot of conviction in how elite sports teams should look and feel.

“There is a genuine Ineos way that I think the combination of that and the way in which Erik wants to operate, it could be a really exciting combination.

“I think you’ve got some phenomenally bright people now attached to the club, through the likes of Dave Brailsford and the people that they will inevitably bring in to wrap around the existing structure.

“So, I do think all the ingredients are there for the club to really move on to the next level.

“I said this to the Ineos guys as I was leaving, I’m loathed in some senses (to go) because I think I was probably a nice fit for the way in which they wanted to go about things.

“I felt like it would take a lot from them and their way of working.

“But, personally, I felt like this opportunity from my individual perspective was one that I couldn’t turn down in spite of all that positivity around the club.”

Manchester United can learn from Manchester City’s success but will not try to copy their methods, according to manager Erik Ten Hag.

United head to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday for the Manchester derby once again a long way adrift of their neighbours in the Premier League.

A restructuring of United’s football hierarchy is under way following the investment made by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group, with their first move to bring in Omar Berrada from City as chief executive.

Ten Hag said: “I think you can always learn from opponents who are successful and you have to do it if you want to go to high levels but, at the same time, we have to do it in a United way.

“This is a different club with a different environment, with a different DNA. But you pick up things that can be successful and you integrate it in your own model.”

Ratcliffe wasted no time setting out his ambitions for United, arguing they can knock City and Liverpool “off their perch” in three years.

United went into the weekend sitting 15 points below City and 16 adrift of Liverpool but Ten Hag insists he welcomes Ratcliffe setting public targets.

“It helps,” said the Dutchman. “We have to show ambition. We want to be the best and that is what United stands for. But, at the same time, we know also where we are now.

“We also have seen that there are moments where we go toe-to-toe. That’s the belief we have as a team. We have to pick up these moments and we have to prove it in every game. I think we are able to with this squad we have.”

United have lost five of their last six matches against City, including a 6-3 defeat at the Etihad last season and a 3-0 home loss in October.

“At this moment I have a lot of respect for them but not the respect that we think we can’t win this game,” said Ten Hag.

“On the contrary, we will show we can win this game. In the (FA) Cup final, we showed we were very close. Also first half at Old Trafford in the home game before that crazy VAR moment changes the game completely.

“The second half we didn’t play well and they played very well, so don’t let them come into the game, that is I think what we have to take with us for Sunday.”

Ahead of the last derby, City boss Pep Guardiola said Liverpool rather than United were his side’s biggest rivals, and Ten Hag added: “The last decade, that is the way it went.

“I think it’s a fair assessment. But we can’t accept this as a club. We have to bounce back. As Sir Jim says, we have to show ambition, we want to be the number one. I think that’s a good ambition.”

Modernising Old Trafford and improving the matchday experience could help Manchester United achieve “revolutionary” growth in revenue, a football finance expert has said.

The Red Devils may have gone a decade without a Premier League title and 15 years without winning the Champions League, but commercially they remain a success story.

They dropped one place to fifth in the Deloitte Football Money League but earned a club record £648m for 2022-23, which briefly stood as a Premier League record before Manchester City announced their results for the same period in November last year.

Tim Bridge, the lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, hailed their enduring ability to generate revenue despite their on-field struggles, but believes upgrading Old Trafford could elevate them above their Premier League and European peers in commercial terms.

“What is so impressive (about United) is that resilience, that ability to continue to generate significant commercial return in the market, to find new (commercial) partners,” Bridge told the PA news agency.

“They have this way to engage with commercial partners in a way that few other clubs can.

“But you could also flip it around and also talk about what is the scale of the opportunity if they got it right. There have been a lot of reports around the current conditions at Old Trafford, there has been a lot of comparison to other football stadiums and the overall offering.

“I genuinely believe that if they had a genuine matchday offering that kept the fans in and around the stadium in the way that you have at somewhere like Tottenham, the results from a revenue perspective could be revolutionary and really outplay the rest of the competition.

“Because they still generate £100million-plus from Old Trafford and yet in experience terms, compared to what is also available on the market, or what may be available on the market from a Real Madrid or a Barcelona in the future, then the two are probably not comparable.

“So the strength of their brand, the strength of their fanbase, the loyalty is absolutely incredible and is extremely resilient and impressive.”

Ineos is set to invest 300 million US dollars (£235m) on club infrastructure after securing a 25 per cent stake in United.

Supporters have issued a number of complaints about the stadium, highlighting in particular leaks in its roof.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is this weekend set to attend his first Manchester United match since agreeing a partial takeover of the club, the PA news agency understands.

The billionaire has agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in the Premier League outfit and, barring any late change in schedule, is due to attend Sunday’s match against Tottenham at Old Trafford.

The deal is still awaiting ratification, but Ratcliffe and his team have wasted no time getting to know the club as his INEOS group prepare to take responsibility for footballing operations at United.

The 71-year-old and Sir Dave Brailsford, INEOS’ director of sport, visited Old Trafford and United’s Carrington training ground last week.

The pair met with men’s team manager Erik ten Hag and women’s team boss Marc Skinner, along with members of different teams and backroom staff.

The INEOS delegation also met with wider club staff at Old Trafford and attended an all-staff meeting as they get to better know United and the challenge at hand.

Brailsford has been at all three matches since the deal was announced on Christmas Eve, with INEOS Sport chief executive Jean Claude Blanc joining him at Monday’s FA Cup third round 2-0 win against Wigan.

Under-fire Erik ten Hag says misfiring Manchester United have to “step up” and find a modicum of consistency after Nottingham Forest inflicted their 14th defeat of a chastening season.

A year that began with positivity and silverware ended with the Red Devils under intense scrutiny given they are already out of Europe, the Carabao Cup and Premier League title race.

United have been infuriatingly inconsistent throughout the campaign, epitomised by the thrilling 3-2 Boxing Day turnaround against Aston Villa being followed up Saturday’s limp 2-1 loss at Forest.

“One thing is clear we are not consistent,” boss Ten Hag said. “We can beat the best teams in the league, but we also lose games we should win, and I think today was one of them.

“We always have to swap (players due to absentees). I don’t think I talk a lot about players we don’t have. Every time I am telling it doesn’t matter who we line up, we have to win.

“But the routines are not there if every time we have to swap.

“Today is another example. When (Rasmus) Hojlund is ill, we have to swap our frontline and we have seen it in the first half there was no speed in the game there.”

This was quite the comedown from the Boxing Day victory against Villa and the positivity some fans felt after the Christmas Eve announcement that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is becoming minority owner.

INEOS are taking responsibility for the footballing operations and Ten Hag said on Friday that he was convinced they wanted to keep him on as manager.

Sir Dave Brailsford, INEOS’ director of sport, watched Saturday’s game in the directors’ box alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, whose final league title in 2013 looks unlikely to be added to anytime soon.

“They know me and they know when I have a squad what is available, then the results will be there,” Ten Hag said.

“We are already proving against the top teams we can go head to head, so I’m convinced and have strong belief we get more progress in this team, that we get more consistency in.

“I think this is part of a project. We were overperforming last year. This year so, far, we are underperforming.

“We have to do better, we have to step up and I have to lead that process.”

The performances have made as grim viewing as the results, with this United’s 14th loss of the season in all competitions and 21st in total of 2023.

Asked if he is confident of things improving, Ten Hag said: “Yeah, of course I believe that.

“I know when players are returning, then I am sure this side will be stronger.

“You have to clinically analyse this, then we know where it’s come from. We have a lack of routines, we have to work on that.”

The post-match analysis will be dominated by United, but this was Forest’s night.

Four days on from winning 3-1 at Newcastle, new manager Nuno Espirito Santo celebrated his first home win in charge as they beat the Red Devils for the first time since 1994.

Morgan Gibbs-White’s late strike from the edge of the box wrapped up a memorable triumph after Marcus Rashford had capitalised on a terrible Matt Turner pass to cancel out Nicolas Dominguez’s opener.

“They did the job, the players played well,” Forest boss Espirito Santo said. “I think the team was compact.

“In the first half, I think we controlled pretty well the game, we defend well. We had good spells of possession, didn’t finish too much actions.

“Much better in the second half, we start to combine. First goal, good movement, good combination and good finish.

“We concede and it seems we’re going to be in trouble but the reaction was immediate, it showed character, so the players should enjoy the video because they did a fantastic job.

“And the fans, we cannot thank them enough so let’s enjoy this moment together.”

Manchester United must consult with Ineos over any January transfer deals or a move to sack manager Erik ten Hag prior to the Premier League ratifying its deal to purchase 25 per cent of the club’s shares.

United announced on Christmas Eve that an agreement had been reached with Ineos and its chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a boyhood Red Devils fan, which will give Ineos responsibility over football operations once the regulatory approval process is complete.

That is expected to take four to six weeks and run beyond the end of the January transfer window.

However, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing related to the deal contains a provision guaranteeing that the company will be consulted on football matters in the interim.

This includes “appointing, dismissing or accepting the resignation of any director of football or first team manager of the company” as well as entering into or continuing any discussion concerning the purchase or sale of any player.

The SEC filing also contains a provision which would allow the Glazers, who still have majority control of the club, to force a full sale if they received an offer for their shares which Ratcliffe was unwilling to match. Ratcliffe has first refusal on the purchase of those shares.

Erik ten Hag expects Rasmus Hojlund to keep scoring after Manchester United’s £72million man finally broke his Premier League duck to seal a stunning 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa.

United looked destined for a 14th defeat of the season in all competitions when Aston Villa scored twice in the space of six first-half minutes through John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker to take a 2-0 lead in at half-time as boos rang around Old Trafford at the break.

But with INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford watching on after Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority stake-holding was confirmed, United rallied in the second half with Alejandro Garnacho scoring twice before Hojlund won it in the 82nd minute.

Although the summer signing from Atalanta finished as United’s top-scorer in their short-lived Champions League campaign, he had failed to find the net in 16 matches in domestic competition, but made no mistake when McGinn could only flick the ball into his path eight minutes from time.

“Of course I’ve had several talks with him and every time I’ve pointed out he has scored for Denmark a lot, he has scored in the Champions League, he has demonstrated his ability so you can do it, believe,” Ten Hag said of the 20-year-old Dane.

“I’m sure now he has the first goal he will score more…

“When a striker doesn’t score it’s a problem but he has a strong character, he is so solid, determined. He has a big personality. I think this is what a striker needs. When you keep investing, the goals will come.”

Brailsford’s presence came two days after Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent stake in the club – which will come with control of footballing operations – was announced subject to ratification by the Premier League.

The former British Cycling boss would have been worried by how easily Villa scored their goals. McGinn’s free-kick from wide bounced through a crowded box before Dendoncker was left almost unmarked to flick home from a corner.

But asked if Brailsford had seen both the best and worst of his United side, Ten Hag said: “It wasn’t the worst. I think already in the first half we played solidly. It was a little bit slopping to give two goals away but after we changed the pressing slightly and we kept going.

“Already we created chances in the first half, we kept believing in ourselves and that is what I demand. I said at half-time, keep believing and we will win this game.”

Manchester United have announced INEOS Group chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe will buy a 25 per cent stake in the club.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key questions following the £236million deal.

What does it mean for the club’s ownership?

In the short-term, not much, given the Glazer family are still majority shareholders.

However, under the agreement, INEOS has accepted a request by the board to be delegated responsibility “for the management of the club’s football operations”.

This is set to include “all aspects” of both the men’s and women’s teams as well as the academies. Just how Ratcliffe and the INEOS Group will implement those on a day-to-day basis remains to be seen – which has already been highlighted by the Manchester United Supporters Trust.

So when will the INEOS Group start their new job?

Detailed and complicated discussions have been going on for some time – but the announcement on Christmas Eve does not mean everything has been signed off.

United’s statement noted the deal was still “subject to customary regulatory approvals” which is expected to take some time.

The process must be ratified by the Premier League and also an official announcement made via the New York Stock Exchange.

Given the Christmas and New Year holidays, there have been suggestions it could take up to six weeks for changes to the club’s ownership to be established with all the relevant parties – which would come right in the middle of a key January transfer window.

What changes are their likely to be in the boardroom?

Lifelong United supporter Ratcliffe will bring with him plenty of sports administration experience – from owning French Ligue 1 side Nice, the INEOS Grenadiers elite cycling team, the Britannia sailing team fronted by Sir Ben Ainslie as well as a holding in Formula One with Mercedes.

Along with structural change, it is expected Ratcliffe will look to bring in some fresh personnel.

Sir Dave Brailsford, former performance director for British Cycling and current director of sport for INEOS, is reported to be in line for a key role at Old Trafford – as is INEOS Sport chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc, who has also held key positions with Juventus and Paris St. Germain.

Manchester United’s director of football, currently John Murtough, is another role which has been suggested could be under review once the INEOS deal is formally approved.

So what about manager Erik ten Hag?

United suffered a 13th defeat of a so-far uninspiring campaign when beaten 2-0 at West Ham on Saturday – the most they have lost before Christmas since 1931.

Despite being well off the pace in the Premier League and failing to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League, Dutchman ten Hag insists he can turn things around again.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has vowed to return United to “the very top of English, European and world football” – which means results will either have to improve or INEOS could well implement some of that “delegated responsibility” in the dugout.

What else will be on the ‘to-do’ list?

As well as refurbishing the debt-laden club’s infrastructure under the agreement, INEOS will inject £158m (USD 200m) to upgrade Old Trafford.

The on-going renovations are much needed – with reports of roof leaks and a feeling of out-dated concourses which leaves United behind many of their Premier League rivals (not to mention over at the Etihad Stadium).

Ratcliffe’s pledge to see United competing with the best on the pitch again is also not likely to come cheap in the transfer market or be a quick fix – and neither will be unifying the fanbase once again on the back of what MUST feel has been “18 years of debt, decay and mismanagement”.

Ineos Group chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe has agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United and inject around £236million into the club, the Red Devils have announced.

Ineos, who will assume delegated responsibility for the club’s football operations, and United have entered an agreement under which he will acquire 25 per cent of the Class B shares held by the Glazer family and up to 25 per cent of the Class A shares while investing 300 million US dollars (£236.7million) into its infrastructure.

A club statement said: “Manchester United announces 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 statement continued: “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.

“The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and all parties are hopeful it will be completed as soon as possible.”

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.

“While 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.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United is due to be announced later on Christmas Eve, according to a report.

Confirmation of the investment by the 71-year-old’s Ineos Group would end a saga which has lasted more than a year.

Sky News has reported that a deal is set to be announced, 13 months after the club’s United States-based owners the Glazer family revealed their intention to undertake a strategic review of their options, including the possibility of selling up.

Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim were both in the running to oversee a buyout of the club until October.

Sheikh Jassim withdrew his bid for full control of the club on October 14, with Ratcliffe’s focus shifting to taking a significant minority stake.

Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group is expected to pay in the region of £1.25billion for the share purchase, while also acquiring significant control over footballing operations.

It has also been reported that Ratcliffe is prepared to invest a further £245million to improve the club’s ageing infrastructure.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.