Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘ruthlessly focused’ on success at Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe says his priority is returning United to the top, rather than making money. Credit: PA Images

Incoming minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has told Manchester United supporter groups he is there to help take the club back to the top rather than make money.

After a frustrating, prolonged 13-month process, it was announced on Christmas Eve that the Ineos chairman had agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake from the Glazer family.

Ratcliffe receives control of football operations at the Premier League club under the terms of a deal that he told reporters he expects to be approved by mid-February.

The 71-year-old watched Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Tottenham at Old Trafford Credit: PA Images

He engaged with fan representatives and local leaders over the weekend, and met members of the club’s Fans’ Advisory Board and leaders of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), before holding a video meeting with the larger Fans’ Forum.

His main message was that everything at United needs to be ruthlessly focused on creating winning teams on the field – something all fans will agree on.

The meeting with MUST lasted more than an hour, with Ratcliffe joined by Sir Dave Brailsford, the director of sport at Ineos, Jean Claude Blanc, Ineos Sport chief executive, and senior United officials.

A fan representative at one of the meetings told the PA news agency that Ineos made it clear the immediate priority is fixing things on the field during “really positive discussions”.

After speaking to fan representatives, Ratcliffe and his team met a range of local leaders to discuss United’s role in the community and potential development of Old Trafford.

Among those in attendance were senior representatives from Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, including mayor Andy Burnham.