Mercedes Formula 1 team co-owner declares interest in buying Manchester United

·2-min read
Mercedes logo at Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022. Credit: PA Images
Mercedes logo at Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022. Credit: PA Images

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, current co-owner of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, holds an interest in buying Manchester United.

Through his firm INEOS, Ratcliffe is an equal one-third owner of the Mercedes F1 team, alongside Daimler and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

But, could Ratcliffe soon add another sporting institution to his portfolio?

Over in the English Premier League, Manchester United have made a woeful start to the 2022-23 season under new manager Erik ten Hag, the team rock bottom of the league after a 2-1 loss to Brighton and 4-0 defeat at Brentford to start the campaign.

 

 

Tension has existed between the Manchester United fanbase and owners the Glazer family for much of their spell at the top of the club after purchasing it in 2005.

However, speculation is ramping up that the Glazer family would now be open to selling a minority stake in the club.

And if the option is there to invest in Manchester United, then a spokesperson for Ratcliffe explained that the billionaire, a Manchester United supporter, would very much be in the mix as a potential buyer.

“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson confirmed to The Times.

“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.

“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent, Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

A Manchester United Supporters’ Trust spokesperson, reacting to Ratcliffe’s interest in the club, told BBC Sport: “While supporters have called for change, this of course has to be the right change.

“Any prospective new owner has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club. They have to be willing to invest to restore United to former glories, and that investment must be real new money spent on the playing side and the stadium.

“Finally, any new ownership structure must embed supporters, including a degree of fan share ownership, in their operating model.”

Ratcliffe, who already owns two football clubs, French side Nice and Swiss outfit Lausanne-Sport, recently tried to add a third in the form of Chelsea, a Premier League rival of Manchester United.

Mercedes driver and seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton was also part of the scramble to buy Chelsea, Hamilton and tennis star Serena Williams involved in a bid alongside businessman and lifelong Chelsea fan Martin Broughton.

However, a consortium headed by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital would ultimately win the race to buy Chelsea.

 

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