- Sir Jim Ratcliffe is considering acquiring a 25% minority stake in Manchester United.
- The Glazer family’s announcement to sell Manchester United resulted in major bids from Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim.
- Ratcliffe’s new approach could involve an investment of close to £1.5 billion.
- Fans’ reactions to the continued Glazer influence remain uncertain.
- Ratcliffe’s investment might boost infrastructure and player acquisition budgets.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire chief of Ineos Group, is contemplating the purchase of a 25% minority stake in Manchester United. This comes as a strategic shift, nearly 10 months after his initial proposal to acquire majority control.
Stalled Bidding War
The Glazer family, current owners of the football club, announced their intention to sell last November. The announcement sparked a bidding war, primarily between Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Both offers were in the vicinity of £5 billion. Notably, while Ratcliffe showed interest in a majority stake, Sheikh Jassim aimed for complete ownership. But with no satisfactory conclusion in sight, Ratcliffe’s recent contemplation of a minority stake hints at a change in tactics.
According to BBC Sport, the Glazers, who acquired Manchester United for £790m in 2005, have faced significant opposition from the club’s fanbase. Despite the outcry, they have yet to make a decisive move concerning the club’s ownership.
Ratcliffe’s new proposal may involve acquiring portions of both the Glazers’ shares and those traded on the New York Stock Exchange. If the proposal goes through, it might mean an investment of around £1.5 billion, based on the club’s previously reported valuation of £6 billion.
The potential continuation of the Glazers’ influence over the club, even with Ratcliffe’s increased stake, may not resonate well with Manchester United’s supporters.
While the Glazers and Raine Group (overseeing the sale) have remained tight-lipped about the ongoing process, Ratcliffe’s potential cash infusion may pave the way for crucial improvements to Old Trafford and aid manager Erik ten Hag’s transfer strategies.