A Billionaire Takes on the Challenge of Fixing Manchester United

Jim Ratcliffe, a British billionaire, recently acquired a 25 percent stake in Manchester United. Now, he is faced with the task of turning the club around.


The Long and Complicated Process of Acquiring Manchester United

Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman of INEOS and a lifelong supporter of Manchester United, recently purchased a 25 percent stake in the club for over $1.5 billion. However, the road to this acquisition was far from smooth. Ratcliffe's bid faced fierce competition from a little-known Qatari sheikh, and the negotiations dragged on for months without a sale being finalized.

Despite the challenges, Ratcliffe eventually emerged as the winner and gained a minority ownership of the club. As part of the deal, he would take over the day-to-day operations of the soccer team. However, he acknowledged that revitalizing Manchester United would not happen overnight and would require a long-term effort.

Ratcliffe's Vision for Manchester United

As the new owner, Ratcliffe expressed his commitment to adopting a soccer-first mentality for Manchester United. He emphasized the importance of focusing on on-field success rather than solely commercial endeavors, which had been a criticism of the previous owners, the Glazer family.

Ratcliffe also mentioned building a strong relationship with the Glazer family, who will still retain a majority stake in the club. While his exact role in major decision-making processes was not explicitly defined, Ratcliffe expressed confidence that as long as he and the Glazers are aligned in their actions, the relationship would thrive.

Challenges Ahead for Ratcliffe and Manchester United

Reviving Manchester United's success will not be without obstacles. The club's recent decline in performance coincided with excessive spending on player acquisitions, which has put them at risk of exceeding the Premier League's spending limits. Ratcliffe acknowledged that these financial constraints would impact future roster restructuring.

Additionally, Ratcliffe discussed his aspirations for the club's stadium. He proposed either refurbishing the current Old Trafford stadium with a cost of around 1 billion pounds ($1.27 billion) or constructing an entirely new facility. His preference lies with the latter option, as it would serve as a multi-purpose venue for the entire North of England. However, such plans would require public investment.