"We’d be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership" - Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms desire to buy stake in Manchester United

Will Sir Jim Ratcliffe buy Manchester United?
Will Sir Jim Ratcliffe buy Manchester United?

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed (via his spokesperson) his interest in buying Manchester United.

Ratcliffe's spokesperson told The Times:

"If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer. If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership."

The businessman is a British billionaire and a boyhood fan of Manchester United. He notably has ownership of other sporting teams like Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, Swiss club Lausanne-Sport and the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team.

Detailing the reason behind Ratcliffe's decision to buy United, his spokesperson said:

"This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset."

Ratcliffe's comments came on the back of a Bloomberg report which revealed that United's current owners, the Glazer family, are open to selling a minority stake in the club.

Ratcliffe's current worth is estimated at £13.5 billion. He previously made a move to buy another English club when he submitted a bid to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich for £4.25 billion in May 2022.

The billionaire later said (reported via BBC Sport) that he remains a Manchester United fan despite bidding to buy the Blues. Ratcliffe further added that he never bid for United previously because they were not for sale.

Manchester United fans are frustrated with the current ownership

After initially buying minority stakes at the club (2003, 2004), the Glazers bought Manchester United for a reported amount of £790 million in 2005.

The American owners enjoyed massive success in their early years courtesy of Sir Alex Ferguson's brilliance. However, the trophy cabinet began to dry up post the legendary Scottish manager's retirement.

United last won the Premier League in the 2012-13 season, Ferguson's last with the club. They have only won one UEFA Europa League, an FA Cup, an EFL Cup and an FA Community Shield since, despite spending close to £1 billion in the transfer market.

Fans who were accustomed to regular success have been frustrated with the club's scouting and transfer policy. Multiple unsuccessful big-money transfers, who mostly add commercial value, have been deemed as a reason behind United's fall from grace in the last decade.

The trend appears unlikely to change this summer as Manchester United continue to be linked to several star players who may fit into Erik ten Hag's system. It is worth noting that the only players the club have signed so far this summer are those who previously worked with the Dutch tactician.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman
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