What billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has said about buying Manchester United

    Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to buy Manchester United
    Jim Ratcliffe will be an interested party as Manchester United goes up for sale (Picture: Getty Images)

    Manchester United is officially up for sale and one of the world’s richest men Jim Ratcliffe is expected to be interested in buying the club.

    The chairman and CEO of chemicals company INEOS is worth around £8.4bn, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index and crucially, he is a Manchester United fan who has recently shown interest in buying football clubs.

    The 70-year-old already owns French club Nice and put a bid in to buy Chelsea, but lost out to eventual purchasers Todd Boehly and his consortium.

    Speaking just last month, Ratcliffe admitted that if Manchester United had been for sale in the summer he would have been interested.

    ‘I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan. I was there in 1999 for the most remarkable match of all time in Barcelona. So, you know, the club is deeply etched in my mind,’ Ratcliffe said at the FT Live conference in October.

    ‘But Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family. I have met Joel and Avram, who are the nicest people, proper gentlemen, and they don’t want to sell.

    ‘The club is owned by the six children of the father, Malcolm, and they don’t want to sell it.

    ‘If it had been for sale in the summer, yes, we would probably have had a go, following on from the Chelsea thing.

    ‘But we can’t sit around hoping that one day United will become available.’

    Ratcliffe has described himself as a lifelong Manchester United fan (Picture: Getty Images)

    Ratcliffe also spoke about United’s decline since Alex Ferguson’s departure as manager, hinting that investment has been a problem.

    ‘The answer about the performance of Manchester United is a simple one,’ he said. ‘The biggest correlation in success in football is money, without question. It’s not the only correlation because you’ve got outliers like Brighton. But if you’ve got the highest revenues, you can afford the best players and play the best football.

    ‘Manchester United was one of those top three clubs with Barcelona and Real Madrid. A few more have joined that club with Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Liverpool are a little bit closer.

    ‘But Manchester United are not playing in that league of those other teams at the moment and haven’t done for quite some years since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down.

    ‘So they’re not firing on all cylinders, that’s my point on performance.’

    The Glazer family confirmed this week that the club is for sale, with United’s American owners saying they have instructed investment bankers to advise on the process, which could result in a full sale of the club and end their 17-year reign at Old Trafford.

    A statement from United on Tuesday evening read: ‘Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU), one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.

    ‘The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.

    ‘As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company. This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.’

    ‘There can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in any transaction involving the Company. Manchester United does not intend to make further announcements regarding the review unless and until the Board has approved a specific transaction or other course of action requiring a formal announcement.’

    MORE : Manchester United up for sale as Glazer family plan to end 17-year reign

    MORE : Vincent Kompany aims hilarious dig at Cristiano Ronaldo following Manchester United exit

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