25 December 2023
Ratcliffe’s investment brings hope for a revival at struggling English Premier League club
In a move that could potentially reshape the future of one of the most iconic football clubs in the world, British petrochemical billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has purchased a 25% stake in Manchester United. The sale, confirmed by the club and Ratcliffe-controlled INEOS, a London-based multinational conglomerate, comes as Manchester United seeks to enhance its on-field performance and secure long-term success. Ratcliffe’s investment, along with an additional $300 million intended for investment into Old Trafford, the club’s historic stadium, brings renewed hope for the club’s fans and stakeholders.
A Strategic Investment to Revitalize Manchester United
Manchester United, valued at $6 billion by Forbes, has faced a series of challenges in recent years, both on and off the pitch. Under the ownership of the Florida-based Glazer family since 2005, the club has struggled to replicate the success it enjoyed under the legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The acquisition of a significant stake by Ratcliffe, who has described himself as a “local boy and a lifelong supporter” of Manchester United, presents an opportunity for revitalization and a return to glory.
A Joint Ambition for Success
The strategic investment by Ratcliffe and INEOS aligns with Manchester United’s commitment to delivering success across all aspects of the club. Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, Manchester United’s executive co-chairmen and directors, expressed their delight at the deal, emphasizing their focus on building a world-class football operation. The joint ambition is to leverage the club’s existing strengths, including its off-pitch performance, to create a sustainable and competitive team that can compete at the highest level.
The Glazer Family’s Decision to Sell
The sale of a stake in Manchester United comes after persistent rumors of the Glazer family’s interest in accepting offers for the club. The family, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has faced criticism from fans for their ownership approach and perceived lack of investment in the team. The decision to sell a portion of their shares indicates a willingness to explore alternative avenues for the club’s growth and success.
Ratcliffe’s Sporting Ventures
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s foray into football ownership is not limited to Manchester United. With a net worth of $19.1 billion, Ratcliffe previously attempted to acquire London club Chelsea, which was eventually sold for $5.3 billion. In addition to his investment in Manchester United, Ratcliffe owns soccer clubs OGC Nice in France and FC Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland. His diverse sporting portfolio underscores his passion for the game and his desire to contribute to its development.
The acquisition of a 25% stake in Manchester United by Sir Jim Ratcliffe marks a significant moment in the club’s history. Ratcliffe’s investment, along with the additional funds for Old Trafford, offers a glimmer of hope for fans and stakeholders who have longed for a return to the club’s former glory. As the English Premier League’s approval is awaited, the joint ambition of Ratcliffe, INEOS, and Manchester United is to create a world-class football operation that can compete at the highest level, bringing success to the men’s, women’s, and Academy teams. The future of Manchester United is now in the hands of a billionaire with a passion for the game and a commitment to revitalizing one of football’s most storied institutions.