It has been a sorry state of affairs at Manchester United for at least the past 10 years since Sir Alex Ferguson departed the club; cracks have been papered over with the managers that followed him. However, it could even be argued that they have been on a downwards spiral since the Glazer family took over full control of the club in 2005. Since then absolutely no money has been invested by the Glazer family themselves, it has all been revenue created by the club and the Glazers have let the club rot as they milk their cash cow for all it is worth. It is time for a chance and could Manchester United fan and billionaire Jim Ratcliffe be the man to change the fortunes off the pitch to help things on the pitch?
Who is Ratcliffe?
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a Failsworth (Manchester) born business tycoon who made his money in chemical engineering. Ratcliffe is the chairman and CEO of the Ineos chemicals group which he founded in 1998. Known to be publicly shy, the richest man in Britain, reared his head recently when Chelsea Football Club were for put up for sale after the issues surrounding Roman Abramovich and the sanctions that were placed on him from the government following the recent invasion by Russia in Ukraine.
Ratcliffe is a self-proclaimed Manchester United fan and has been critical of the Glazer ownership, especially with some of the signings they have made from a business stand point claiming it has been “dumb money”.
This is not the first time Ratcliffe has been involved with a sports team. In 2017, the business genius became the owner of FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League football club. Since then his brother Bob has taken over as the president.
His company also acquired the French football team Nice in Ligue 1 for a lot cheaper than the worth of Manchester United. €100 million will be a drop in the ocean compared to the worth of the Red Devils.
Ratcliffe has also been prevalent in athletics, yachting and more prominently with cycling. His company, Ineos, bought the rights from Team Sky, subsequently named Team Ineos, and his side won the 2019 Tour De France and 2021 Giro d’Italia with rider Egan Bernal.
Is it time for Ratcliffe to be wondering about how to choose a broker and place a bid for Manchester United?
Where the rumours have come from?
As can be seen, Ratcliffe and his company Ineos have an invested interest in the sporting world especially in terms of ownership. With Ratcliffe supporting Manchester United and the club in a dire need of rejuvenation away from the parasites, Ratcliffe fits the bill.
However, he has stated that Manchester United are not for sale so he has no interest in pursuing the purchase if there is no way the Glazers will sell.
Many believe this a tactic from Ratcliffe to see if he can lure the Glazers out and negotiate a price.
What is the tactic?
With the interest in Chelsea apparent and a price marked at a whopping £4.25 billion, he has marked his price publicly for the Glazers to see. The price is not too dissimilar to the worth of Manchester United and it could be the start. With his statement that the club was not up for sale from the Americans so there is no way he can possibly bid on it many feel this could be his way of saying “let’s talk”.
It is clear that Ratcliffe wants to invest in a football club and the fans of Manchester United would be grateful for someone who has previously had avid interest in a club before.
Would the Glazers ever sell?
Every man has their price and Glazers only seem to care about money.
The American ownership could be tempted to sell up, especially with Manchester United struggling on the pitch and failing to finish in the Champions League places for next season meaning there will not be the massive payout that the Glazers will have been hoping for.
It is all hearsay at the moment regarding Ratcliffe but it is a space worth watching especially with the end of season approaching.