Sir Jim Ratcliffe expects a hands-on role at Manchester United once a deal to purchase a 25% stake in the club from the Glazer family is complete, 90min understands.
The INEOS founder is set to come on board at Old Trafford alongside the Glazer family, who will retain majority ownership in the short to medium term – a deal in principle is expected to be confirmed this week – after rival bidder Sheikh Jassim withdrew from the process.
The Qatari banker had submitted a £5bn offer, with a willingness to invest a further £1bn to clear debts. But his group’s proposal fell short of the Glazer valuation of United, which is in excess of £6bn and potentially even up to £10bn. Ratcliffe’s offer, although only for 25%, actually valued the club higher. The Glazer family have also been wary about selling under value.
Despite starting small, Ratcliffe’s eventual plan is to become long-term majority owner and 90min understands that aspect has been key to the talks behind taking his initial stake.
The 70-year-old billionaire already has multiple sporting involvements through INEOS, the multinational chemicals company he set up in 1998, and intends to play an active role at United.
The breadth of his involvement will be large, including Old Trafford improvements, as well as commercial interests and football operations. With regard to the latter, 90min understands there is a belief that expanding and enhancing the club’s current football department is essential.
A major part of that will see Ratcliffe lean on the broader sporting expertise he is already familiar with – that includes Sir Dave Brailsford, who was recently appointed INEOS director of sport and was already team principal of the firm’s hugely successful cycling team. INEOS also owns one third of the Mercedes Formula One team that has won eight of ten F1 constructors and drivers titles from 2014.
Noted sporting director Paul Mitchell is also someone Ratcliffe, who is based in Monaco, is very familiar with as a result of his time at principality club and is considering bringing in. United have long been linked with Mitchell, who initially built his reputation as an outstanding talent scout at Southampton a decade ago. He joined Monaco in 2020 after spells at Tottenham and RB Leipzig.
90min reported in June that Mitchell, surprisingly still only 42 given the body of his work, was interested in returning to the Premier League – something he admitted himself the following month: “You can never say never. I am from England and one day – I am still relatively a young man – I will go back to the Premier League and to friends and family back there as well.”
What we know
- Sir Jim Ratcliffe set to become Man Utd minority owner
- Glazer family will retain a majority stake
- Sheikh Jassim is out of the takeover race.