Manchester United takeover Sir Jim Ratcliffe officially enters bidding to buy Premier League club
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms he wants to complete the purchase of Man Utd; the Glazers announced in November they are willing to listen to offers for the club; watch Crystal Palace vs Man Utd live on Sky Sports from 7.30pm on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company INEOS has officially entered the bidding to buy Manchester United.
Sky Sports News has confirmed a story first published by The Times that Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men, wants to complete the purchase of the Premier League giants.
Ratcliffe has made no secret of the fact he would be interested in buying United. He supported them as a boy and is understood to remain a fan.
The 70-year-old billionaire was among bidders for Chelsea when their ownership came up for grabs after the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
His offer, of £4.25bn, was rejected under the sale process ordered by the Government when Roman Abramovich was sanctioned for his links to Vladimir Putin’s regime in Moscow.
Ratcliffe is no stranger to big sporting investments. 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.
Could Man Utd be sold before end of season?
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“Sir Jim Ratcliffe has always made it clear he wants to buy a Premier League club. A few years ago he said Premier League clubs were overvalued, which is why he went and bought Nice for €100m. He said he wasn’t going to spend billions of pounds on a Premier League club, but his attitude has changed over the past few years.
“His company has a lot of interest in different sports, he’s somebody who grew up as a Manchester United supporter even though he regularly goes to watch Chelsea. Last year, he tried to buy Chelsea when they were put up for sale. He made a very, very late bid of ab
“This time, as far as Manchester United are concerned, he’s the first person to show his hand. I think what we’ll see now is more people showing their hands and more people getting to look at the books. Then next month, we’ll start hearing about different bids that are being made.
“I think we can anticipate Manchester United changing hands before the end of the season if the club is sold 100 per cent.”
How is INEOS’ ownership at Nice viewed?
ESPN’S Julien Laurens on The Transfer Show:
“INEOS bought Nice in August 2019 for €100m. The intentions have been very good, to be fair.
“You can see he wants to do well. The investment has been good. On the Ligue 1 and Nice scale, they have spent €200m in those three-and-a-half years they have been at the club.
“Before Man Utd fans say that is what we need to spend in one summer, not three years, Nice do not have the revenue Man Utd have. Ligue 1 doesn’t bring in the same money the Premier League brings in. You have to remember the scale.
“They have invested a lot of money in youth players and, to a certain extent, that has worked. However, in terms of results on the pitch it has been a bit underwhelming.
“They finished sixth in the first season under Patrick Vieira, ninth and then fifth under Christophe Galtier, who left to go to PSG. Then this season currently is a bad one because this is the thing, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made some wrong choices. Lucien Favre was brought in as manager and he was the wrong one.
“He is clearly still learning but you can’t deny Ratcliffe loves football, and I think he wants to do well in every club he owns.”
How are INEOS viewed by the Nice fans?
More from ESPN’S Julien Laurens on The Transfer Show:
“The relationship with the Nice fans has been a bit up and down.
“The Nice fans, especially the Ultras are hard to please.
“It will be the same with the United fans if Ratcliffe takes over, the expectation when he took over at Nice was huge.
“Suddenly they thought they could compete with PSG and the Qatari money. They thought they’d be able to compete with Marseille, their rivals, but it hasn’t happened.
So, at times it was good, and they reached a cup final, for example last summer, which they lost, but still, there was a lot of people asking: ‘Is that it?’ The expectations were higher than what Ratcliffe bought.
The fans were on board, then they doubted, then they were back on board, but they haven’t always understood the project and the direction. Dave Brailsford then came in and he’s not really a football man, which the fans didn’t understand.
“It’s been a mixed relationship between Ratcliffe, his team and the Nice fans.