British billionaire indicates interest in buying Man United. On Tuesday, the Ineos firm, owned by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, formally entered the bidding for Manchester United.
Ratcliffe is eager to reach a deal, and United’s owners, the Glazer family, stated in November that they would be open to hearing proposals for the Premier League team.
Ratcliffe, a lifelong supporter of United who tried unsuccessfully to purchase Chelsea for £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) last year, has long been associated with the club from Old Trafford.
We have officially entered the process, I can affirm, an Ineos spokeswoman told AFP.
Ratcliffe is looking for another Premier League behemoth after his failed takeover of Chelsea when Roman Abramovich sold the Blues to American entrepreneur Todd Boehly and his group.
The 70-year-interest old’s in replacing the Glazers, who are located in the United States, has not yet received a response from United.
Ratcliffe, who was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, is one of the richest individuals in the country and could be more popular with the United fans than the Glazers, who have seen several fan demonstrations throughout their tumultuous rule.
Due to the team’s recent on-field struggles, the Glazers, who completed a leveraged buyout of the club in 2005, have encountered extreme opposition from fans.
They have long been accused of pulling more money out than they have put in in terms of transfer funding, and their purchase of United also left the club with enormous debts.
By supporting the unsuccessful European Super League initiative in April 2021, which would have resulted in the team joining a breakaway league, the Glazers infuriated United supporters even more.
The board would “explore all strategic possibilities, including additional investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the firm,” according to a statement from United in November.
United’s last big prize was six years ago, and they haven’t won the Premier League since that year.
United, which had a miserable sixth-place finish in the Premier League last year, has been revitalized by manager Erik ten Hag and is currently fourth after defeating archrival Manchester City 2-1 on Saturday.
As “one of the largest sports brands,” Ineos is eager to grow its athletic portfolio, which currently includes ownership of the cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, previously Team Sky, as well as the French club Nice and Swiss team FC Lausanne-Sport.
After the country’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal suggested in November that there “might” be interest in buying United and Liverpool, who are both available for sale, Ratcliffe may face competition from Saudi Arabian investors.
United, who are estimated to be worth over £5 billion, are being advised by the American financial group Raine Group, who handled the sale of Chelsea.
Hours after United icon Peter Schmeichel defended the team’s plan to set up an opulent lounge at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ratcliffe entered the bidding process.
The club established a lounge on the main high street of Davos, an opulent Swiss ski resort overflowing with billionaires and CEOs this week for the annual Forum, situated close to international software businesses, consultancies, and banks.
“I think you have to back it up by having a presence in locations like this,” Schmeichel, who is serving as an ambassador, told AFP. “If you look at what we say about ourselves — we claim that we are one of the largest athletic brands in the world.”
Although he acknowledged that this was improbable, Schmeichel stated that his personal choice would be for supporters to own the club. Schmeichel won five Premier League championships and the Champions League with United.
He remarked, “I know there are a lot of people who desire a change in ownership.
“For me, would it matter if the ownership changed? The only thing that may be different, in my opinion, is if it were owned by the fans, but I believe that’s probably impractical. It is excessively large.