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Sir Jim Ratcliffe purchases 25 per cent stake in Manchester United

INEOS Group chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured during the signing of an investment pact between chemicals group Ineos and the Antwerp harbor, Tuesday 15 January 2019 in Antwerp. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP via Getty Imag Image credit: Getty Images
Manchester United ownership saga has finally reached a major milestone, with the Ineos founder and chief executive officer, Sir Jim Ratcliffe completing the purchase of a 25 per cent stake in the club.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed a deal worth £1.3 billion with the Glazer family to acquire a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United.

Ratcliffe, the CEO of petrochemicals company Ineos, was officially unveiled as a minority owner at United, bringing an end to the protracted 13-month saga which began last November when the Glazers announced they would be willing to listen to offers for Manchester United.

The deal will see Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford assume control of football operations in what is another major development in the overhaul of the senior hierarchy at Old Trafford, following news of Richard Arnold’s resignation as chief executive on November 15.

Ratcliffe expressed an interest in investing in United back in January and faced competition from Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani, who had a bid reported to be worth around £5bn to buy the club outright rejected before withdrawing from the process.

That left the path clear for Ratcliffe, one of the UK’s richest men and a United fan, to negotiate a deal that would allow him and Brailsford to take charge of football matters while leaving the Glazers with a majority stake.

In a statement on the club’s website, Ratcliffe said: 

“As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the Club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United Board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the club. Whilst the commercial success of the Club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.”

“We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the Club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.”

“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the Club – the Board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the Club forward.”

“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”

As of yet, the deal is subject to approval by the Premier League. However, Ratcliffe and Ineos’ portfolio includes investments in other sporting organisations, so it is expected he will bring what he’s learnt to Old Trafford in a bid to turn the club’s fortunes around.

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