Sir Jim Ratcliffe vows to make Manchester United ‘a beacon for a fan-centred approach to ownership’
Sir Jim Ratcliffe vows to turn Manchester United into ‘a beacon for a fan-centred approach to ownership’ and make them ‘the number one club in the world’ as Britain’s richest man sets out his stall after entering his bid for a majority stake
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has laid out his investment plans for Manchester United hoping to make the side the ‘number one club in the world again’ with hopes to make the club a ‘beacon’ for ‘fan-centred ownership’.
It was announced yesterday that the 70-year-old chemicals magnate had made an official bid to purchase the club.
He was one of two confirmed bidders, with Qatari investor Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani also confirming in a statement on Friday evening that he too had made a formal tender to purchase the club from the Glazer family.
Ratcliffe, a boyhood fan of Manchester United, had previously said he wanted to put ‘the Manchester back into Manchester United’, but today has revealed more detailed plans for the club, hoping to bring ‘progressive, fan-centred’ ownership to the club.
A statement released on Saturday said: ‘Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have submitted a bid for majority ownership of Manchester United Football Club. We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has vowed for ‘fan-centred ownership’ if he becomes Man Utd’s new owner
Ratcliffe is one of two confirmed bidders for the club, with the Glazers (pictured) hoping to recoup between £6bn and £7bn for Manchester United
‘We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again.
‘We also recognise that football governance in this country is at a crossroads. We would want to help lead this next chapter, deepening the culture of English football by making the club a beacon for a modern, progressive, fan-centred approach to ownership.
‘We want a Manchester United anchored in its proud history and roots in the North-West of England, putting the Manchester back into Manchester United and clearly focusing on winning the Champions League.’
That will be a welcome claim to many United fans, many of whom have questioned and protested against their current owners, the Glazer family, claiming they have ‘mismanaged’ the club, notably saddling the Red Devils with their debt when they arrived 17-years-ago.
Supporters took to the streets neighbouring Old Trafford last season to protest their concerns, blaming the Glazer family for poor recruitment and a lack of investment.
But Ratcliffe’s statement comes at a time where many questions are circling around football governance, particularly on the eve of the release of the government’s white paper into club ownership.
Britain’s richest man Ratcliffe, 70, is reportedly worth around £13.3bn and was in the running to buy Chelsea last year, tabling a last-minute offer for the London club of £4.25bn. Interestingly he is also a season ticket holder at Stamford Bridge.
And while he has reportedly hired Wall Street giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to advise him on his bid, if he does become successful, the club will not be the only sports team he owns.
Ratcliffe currently owns the cycling team INEOS Grenadiers, Ligue 1 side Nice and also once owned Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport.
Club officials retain a hope that a sale can be finalised by the end of March having recovered all formal bids following Friday’s 10pm bidding deadline.
More to follow…