Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has confirmed his intentions of buying out Manchester United from the hugely-unpopular Glazer family.
The Florida-based owners bought the Red Devils back in 2005 in a deal that set them back £790m. Closing in on two decades in charge, their reign has been fraught with controversy. Indeed, having not won a Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge in 2013, they have faced several strong supporter protests.
That criticism has swelled in recent years with the off-field financial performances not matched by on-field matters. In fact, the club are trophyless since lifting the 2017 Europa League.
Back in November, it was revealed that the Glazer family are finally ready to sell up. Or, in the hunt to seek more investment, they could yet remain in charge. For a straight sale, however, it was reported they could be seeking as much as a prohibitive £8bn for the club.
However, that does not seem to have deterred Ratcliffe.
The businesman is the second wealthiest man in the UK. Worth an estimated £25bn, his wealth is only topped by James Dyson.
A spokesperson for his chemicals company Ineos told the PA news agency: “We have formally put ourselves into the process.”
Radcliffe, a boyhood United fan, tried and failed to purchase Chelsea last year, just after a consortium led by Todd Boehly were successful in taking over from Roman Abramovich.
But the British billionaire could have more luck in acquiring United from the Glazers.
Ironically, the team are arguably in better form than at any point in the last nine years. They currently sit sit fourth in the Premier League under Erik ten Hag having recently beaten Manchester City.
United could sign Kylian Mbappe as Ratcliffe billions talk
Per the 2020 Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ratcliffe’s wealth makes him the 61st richest man on the planet. And should his takeover go through, it will make United serious players in the world transfer market.
As a result, they could compete in the top end of the transfer market and for some of the game’s top stars.
Indeed, this summer they are on the hunt for a new big-name striker. The likes of Victor Osimhen has been mentioned as a possible target. And Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk even touted the possibility of a move this month for Dusan Vlahovic.
However, Ratcliffe’s billions will raise hopes about the biggest name of them all, Kylian Mbappe, signing for United.
Having already been linked with the club, the PSG frontman’s future in Ligue 1 remains under the spotlight.
His signing would likely set United back a world-record £200m fee. His wages meanwhile would, in theory, blow off the newly-imposed payscale at the club.
That said, that rule could soon alter on the back of new owners – and force Ten Hag into a rethink.
He wants the rule in place to cut out jealousy within his squad and ensure there are no widespread differences in salary.
That news would also be welcomed by Rio Ferdinand. He recently made clear that he is the forward United should bust a gut to sign this summer when discussing whom should replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
That, though, will depend on Ratcliffe taking charge and whether he can successfully negotiate a deal to end the Glazers’ reign.
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