Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes deal to buy Manchester United minority stake



Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes deal to buy Manchester United minority stake

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 one of the biggest clubs in the world. 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.  

In Ratcliffe, United have a shrewd operator and renowned businessman who will be eager to get United back to winning ways and arrest a decade-long slump.

The reign of the Glazer family, who bought United in 2005 for just under £800m, has been marked by fan protests amid a startling loss of form since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

That was the last time United lifted the Premier League and they currently sit seventh under Erik ten Hag following a poor start to the season that saw them dumped out of Europe before Christmas for the first time since the 2005/06 campaign.

Of the major titles to be won, the English giants have added only the Europa League, one FA Cup and two League Cups to their trophy haul in the post-Fergie era.

There is also anger over the lack of investment made in the club by the Glazers. Old Trafford is in growing disrepair, while the training facilities haven't been updated for some time.

During his ill-fated second stint with the club, Cristiano Ronaldo admitted he "was surprised, in a bad way" when he returned to find "everything was the same" from when he left for Real Madrid in 2008.

"They stopped on a clock, in my opinion," Ronaldo added. "A club with this dimension should be the top of the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately.

"I don't know what's going on but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero."

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