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Man Utd: Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority stake close to being agreed

The latest on the potential takeover of Manchester United: What’s next for Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s potential investment?

The deal for Sir Jim Ratcliffe to become a minority shareholder in Manchester United is anticipated to be finalized during the upcoming international break, potentially as early as next week. It is expected that Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group will pay around £1.25bn to purchase a 25% stake.

In response to a statement made by United’s owners, the Glazer family, on 22 November 2022, about considering selling the club, Ineos and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani both made offers. However, neither bidder was willing to meet the Glazer family’s valuation. Sheikh Jassim withdrew from the process claiming his final bid was below the Glazers’ demands.

Ratcliffe had initially planned to acquire the Glazers’ 69% shareholding but reduced it to an anticipated 25%, which increased the potential for an agreement. There are uncertainties about the structure of the deal and whether specific dates will allow Ratcliffe to increase his shareholding. Additionally, Ratcliffe is expected to allocate £245m in additional funds for infrastructure works related to the stadium.

It has been reported that Ratcliffe wants to assume control of the football operations side of the club and is unlikely to be a silent partner. Sources suggest that this shift in ownership will bring new perspectives and management practices that are much needed at Manchester United, which has been struggling in terms of on-field performance.

The confirmation date for the deal has not been finalized, and fans opposed to the Glazers’ continued involvement at United intend to renew their protests at the upcoming Premier League game against Luton at Old Trafford. Amid these developments, key questions remain about Ratcliffe’s role, his financial input, and how the interaction with the Glazer family will work.

It is expected that Ratcliffe’s business background and his affiliation with revered sports figures such as Sir Dave Brailsford will bring potential changes to the club. However, uncertainties remain about the extent of Ratcliffe’s role and his financial input, especially in potential January dealings such as the situation with Jadon Sancho.