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Sir Jim Ratcliffe Acquires Minority Stake in Manchester United Reaching 25% Investment

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Credits: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Manchester United have officially announced the sale of a minority stake to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, with the INEOS chairman committing to invest an additional $300 million into the club.

Ratcliffe has acquired a 25% stake in Manchester United, valued at around £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion), and will assume responsibility for the football operations at the club.

In a statement released on Sunday, Ratcliffe expressed his enthusiasm about the deal, emphasizing his long-standing support for the club: “As a local boy and 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.”

He outlined his vision for the future, stating, “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.”

Ratcliffe affirmed his commitment to the club’s long-term success, acknowledging the challenges ahead and expressing his determination to work collaboratively with everyone involved at Manchester United.

The announcement marks a significant development as Ratcliffe will acquire 25% of the club’s Class B shares previously held exclusively by the Glazer family, as well as up to 25% of Class A shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

While there is no formal agreement for Ratcliffe to become the full owner of United, he will have first refusal should the Glazers decide to sell additional shares.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

In response to the deal, executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer expressed their satisfaction, stating, “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS,” highlighting the strategic benefits Ratcliffe and INEOS bring to the club.

The announcement follows a strategic review initiated in November 2022 by the Glazers, going into alternatives to enhance Manchester United’s performance across all teams.

Despite interest from Ratcliffe and others in a full takeover, the Glazers opted for Ratcliffe’s offer to purchase a minority stake, with the Glazers retaining majority ownership.

The Glazers’ tenure has been contentious among fans since their leveraged buyout of the club in 2005. In response to the announcement, the Manchester United Supporters Trust cautiously welcomed the development but maintained skepticism due to the Glazers’ continued majority ownership.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, born in Manchester and a lifelong United supporter, already owns French club Nice and Swiss outfit FC Lausanne-Sport. He was also involved in a failed bid to purchase Chelsea in 2022.

As part of the transition, CEO Richard Arnold announced his stepping down, with Patrick Stewart appointed interim CEO until the end of December.

Ratcliffe’s new responsibilities will include overseeing all aspects of the men’s and women’s football operations and Academies, along with two seats on both the Manchester United PLC board and the Manchester United Football Club boards.

The joint ambition is to enhance Manchester United’s football operations and build on the club’s existing strengths, aiming for continued success on and off the pitch.

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