What billionaire fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe has said about buying Manchester United as Glazers’ sale plans revealed

What billionaire fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe has said about buying Manchester United as Glazers’ sale plans revealed

Sir Jim Ratcliffe spoke as recently as last month on the prospect of buying Manchester United.

The club has now confirmed the Glazer family’s plans to sell up, with an auction, partial sale or third-party investment opportunity on the cards.

A United fan worth an estimated £11.3billion, the 70-year-old could be the ideal candidate to make a takeover bid having failed with a Chelsea offer in the summer.

In October, Ineos chairman Ratcliffe told a Financial Times event that he was keen on buying the club but was met with stout resistance from the Glazers.

He stated: “Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family, whom I have met. I've met Joel and Avram and they are the nicest people, I have to say, they are proper gentlemen.

“They don't want to sell it. It's owned by the six children of the father and they don't want to sell it.

“If it had been for sale in the summer then, yes, we would have probably had a go following on from the Chelsea thing, but we can't sit around hoping that one day Manchester United will become available.

“We have an exciting sporting franchise [Ligue 1 side Nice], but the one thing we don't have is a Premier [League] team.

“The most popular sport in the world is football and it is the sport we were brought up with and it's the one most close to us. We really should have an asset in the sporting franchise.”

Fast forward to November 8 and a spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph that buying an English team was no longer on Ratcliffe’s agenda, amid reports he was keen on Liverpool.

They said: “Our position has developed since the summer and we are now focusing our efforts in Nice and raising our ambitions for the club to make them into a top-tier club in France to compete with PSG.

“This would represent much better value for our investment than buying one of the top-tier Premier League clubs.”