Sir Jim Ratcliffe agrees deal to buy 25% stake in Manchester United

It's been confirmed that Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe will buy a substantial chunk of Manchester United, ITV News' Chris Skudder reports

Manchester United has agreed for Sir Jim Ratcliffe to acquire up to a 25 per cent share in the company.

The deal, with Britain's richest man will inject around £236million into the club.

The deal means Ineos Group, which is chaired by Sir Jim, who is worth and estimated £15 billion, will assume delegated responsibility for the club’s football operations.

Sir Jim, a lifelong supporter of the club, will acquire 25 per cent of the Class B shares held by the Glazer family, who own United.

He will also get up to 25 per cent of the Class A shares while investing $300 million (£236.7million) "to enable future investment into Old Trafford," the club said.

Manchester United's statement continued: “The joint ambition is to create a world-class football operation building on the club’s many existing strengths, including the successful off-pitch performance that it continues to enjoy.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. Credit: PA

“The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and all parties are hopeful it will be completed as soon as possible.”

The move comes after Manchester United launched a strategic review in November 2022 to consider all options for the club.

It found that while the club has continued to grow commercially, this has not correlated to success on the pitch.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, said: "As a local boy and a 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.

"Whilst the commercial success of the club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.

"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.

“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the Club – the Board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the Club forward. “Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”

Gary Neville. Credit: PA

Former United defender Gary Neville was less than impressed by the timing of the Christmas Eve announcement.

“Manchester United 2023 has been a disgrace to the end,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“The timing of this is truly awful and no functioning organisation would even think about it.

“Anyway all the very best to Jim Ratcliffe and I hope he can somehow work out a way to get the club right again and back to being something respectable on and off the pitch.”

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