Manchester United staff given week to resign as Sir Jim Ratcliffe cracks down on working from home

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Wembley to watch Manchester United in the FA Cup final

Manchester United staff have been given until next Wednesday to decide if they wish to voluntarily resign under Ineos’ new drive to end working from home.

United’s non-football staff were invited to take redundancy in an email sent across the club on Tuesday.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, United’s new minority shareholder who has taken over the day to day running of the club, is making it compulsory for United staff to work from their offices in Manchester or London from June 1.

Staff who do not wish to conform can quit and are being offered early payment of an annual bonus.

The same terms are understood to be on offer to employees who already work exclusively from the offices. It does not include employees who are scouts or on the playing staff. United have asked staff to confirm if they wish to resign by June 5.

A United spokesman insisted the move “isn’t a voluntary redundancy programme”. “The club recognises that not everyone wants to work from the office full-time so has provided options for staff who don’t wish to return to the office to step away now.”

The announcement comes at a time when Ratcliffe is looking to shed around 25 to 30 per cent of the club’s staff amid concerns the organisation is too bloated.

Corporate restructuring firm Interpath Advisory were appointed in March to oversee a major cost-cutting drive at the club with a view to driving greater efficiency and determining where savings can be made.

According to the club’s latest accounts, United employed 1,112 staff as of June 30 last year, by far the highest number among the Premier League’s big six.

Plans for an end to home working were outlined to staff in an email sent last Friday. United say they will convert the Trinity Club, the Knights Lounge and the 1999 Suite in Old Trafford’s east stand into office space.

Reconfigurations are also being made to United’s London office to allow additional space for staff and some teams will also be based out of the Ineos office in Knightsbridge.

Ratcliffe has shown he is unafraid to make unpopular decisions as he attempts to reset the culture and make United successful again. He recently sent an email to staff complaining about a lack of tidiness and cleanliness at both Old Trafford and Carrington.

Other cost-cutting measures included telling employees that they would have to pay for their own travel to the FA Cup final in a break from tradition, although staff still received a free ticket for the Wembley showpiece last Saturday at which United beat Manchester City 2-1.