Ratcliffe says completion of deal is just the start of ‘accelerated change’ at Man Utd

February 21 – British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe expressed his desire to lift Manchester United “to the top of English, European and world football” after completing his purchase of a minority stake in the iconic club on Tuesday.

The 71-year-old boyhood United fan paid $1.3 billion for up to 25% of the club and has already invested $200 million for additional shares, meaning he now owns approximately 27.7%, making him the biggest single shareholder.

United said Ratcliffe intends to invest a further $100 million by December 31 “to enable future investment in infrastructure at Old Trafford.”

“To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility,” Ratcliffe said.

“This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans.  Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today.”

Ratcliffe’s purchase ended more than a year of uncertainty after majority owners, the Glazer family, said in November 2022 that they were looking at strategic options for investment into the club they took control of in 2005.

The American family will retain a majority stake in the club but Ratcliffe’s petrochemicals giant Ineos Group will take control of football operations.

“I would like to welcome Sir Jim as co-owner and look forward to working closely with him and INEOS Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United,” executive co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement.

The Glazers have been heavily criticised by fans who blame them for a steady decline in the fortunes of the 20-time English league champions despite huge sums paid for star players.

Since Ratcliffe’s move got close to completion, United have shown something of a resurgence and are currently sixth in the table. While many United supporters had hoped the Glazers would sell the club in full, Ratcliffe’s investment has been widely welcomed.

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