One source told Sky Sports News that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is serious about buying Manchester United if the club is for sale; Former players would be involved, along with Sir Dave Brailsford
Thursday 18 August 2022 14:26, UK
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying Manchester United if the club is for sale.
One source told Sky Sports News that Ratcliffe is serious about buying United and former players would be involved, along with Sir Dave Brailsford.
United have declined to comment about rumours and speculation.
Ratcliffe - Britain's richest man, is the CEO of Ineos Group Ltd. He also owns cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, Ligue 1 side Nice, who he took over in 2019, and FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League club.
The 69-year-old, who is a Manchester United supporter, tabled a last-minute £4.25 billion bid to buy Chelsea this summer but saw his offer rejected as American businessman Todd Boehly successfully took over the club.
Former British Cycling performance director Brailsford is the general manager of the Ineos Grenadiers.
Ratcliffe's spokesperson told The Times: "If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.
"If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.
"This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset."
Sky Sports chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"Sir Jim Ratcliffe was trying to buy Chelsea because he's a Chelsea season ticket holder, but he's actually from Greater Manchester and grew up being a Manchester United supporter.
"He's a self-made billionaire and worth about £12bn. He owns and setup the fourth biggest chemical engineering business in the world.
"He has made no secret of his desire to own a Premier League club. He tried to buy Chelsea, coming in with a late bid. He said he had the money to be able to do the deal quickly.
"A lot of people saw that as a dry run for trying to buy Manchester United. He's always said he's potentially interested in buying United if they were put up for sale and that has now been confirmed."
Ratcliffe's interest comes following a report the Glazer family are considering selling a minority stake in Manchester United, according to Bloomberg.
Preliminary discussions have been held about bringing in a new investor, Bloomberg reports. United are not commenting on the report.
The Glazers have owned Manchester United since 2005.
After the news about the Glazer family's potential minority stake sale broke, United's Supporters Trust have released a statement saying that any change to the club's ownership must be right for the club.
United's chief supporters' group stated: "Whilst supporters have called for change, of course this has to be the right change.
"Any prospective new owner or investor has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club."
United's fan group also called for investment to "restore United to former glories", embed supporters into the ownership model and put money into the renovation of Old Trafford.
Sky Sports chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"The Glazer family don't want to sell Manchester United, according to Bloomberg, but just bring in more investment to the club.
"The New York Stock Exchange has reacted to that news with United shares going up by four per cent this morning and, according to Bloomberg, any potential deal could see Manchester United valued at up to £5bn. United are not commenting on these reports at all.
"If we're talking about bringing in investment to a club like Manchester United, there are a lot of people out there who want to invest in Premier League clubs at the moment. We saw when Chelsea were put up for sale the New York Investment Bank, who were marketing the sale, were contacted by more than 100 parties.
"There is a lot of interest, especially in the US, in investing in Premier League clubs. Why do they want to do that? They think they can get a good deal at the moment and that the value of Premier League clubs is going to boom in the next few years because they believe there will be a lot more interest in streaming and they can make money from the fans these Premier League clubs have all around the world.
"As far at the Glazer family are concerned, they effectively sold a minority stake in United before because they floated the club on the New York Stock Exchange, selling 10 per cent of their shares. They sold that stake to shareholders - this time, it's about bringing in an investor."
United welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford on Monday Night Football - live on Sky Sports - after a difficult start to the new Premier League season, losing to Brighton and Brentford.
The 13-time Premier League champions are currently bottom of the table after two games.