Manchester United’s potential ownership shake-up is drawing to a close as billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is on the verge of acquiring a significant minority stake. The Glazer family initiated a review of ‘strategic alternatives’ almost a year ago, marking the inception of the club’s takeover narrative.
A recent report from The Guardian suggests that Ratcliffe has proposed an offer close to £1.3 billion for a 25% stake in the illustrious football club. The Manchester United board is currently deliberating on this proposal. Ratcliffe’s potential role is speculated to revolve around football operations, implying a diminished role for the Glazers – a change that is expected to be popular among the club’s ardent followers.
A shift in Ratcliffe’s approach to acquiring a minority share became evident earlier this month. Previously, negotiations had reached an impasse with the club’s current leadership, even as Ratcliffe and his competitor, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, pitched various proposals. Ratcliffe’s aim to acquire 25% of Manchester United’s shares involves equal parts from the Glazers’ holdings and the portion publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. However, his bid is somewhat at odds with the Glazers’ valuation; they were expecting closer to £1.5 billion, given their total valuation of the club at £6 billion.
Ratcliffe’s path has been cleared considerably with Sheikh Jassim opting out of the acquisition process after his all-encompassing control bid of £5 billion did not materialise.
Dean Jones, a respected sports journalist, expressed to GIVEMESPORT, that Erik ten Hag will likely welcome the prospect of Ratcliffe nearing a deal with the Glazers. Jones anticipates new investments in the January transfer window, a boon for the club and ten Hag.
Jones shared his insights to GIVEMESPORT, stating: “Now that we’ve hopefully got this sorted properly before the January window, and certainly before next summer’s transfer window, I think Erik ten Hag will be relieved. I think he’ll see this as an opportunity to forge a relationship with somebody that is important to building the bond between the management and the fanbase. But he will also want to get a very, very clear understanding of what he can seek to do in terms of recruiting players that are actually going to change the levels of what his team is capable of. Manchester United have obviously been miles off it in terms of actually competing for silverware. They’ve improved under ten Hag, but not to the extent that they’re ever going to get into the title race again. Ten Hag will just want to know how far he can dream, and how far he can push this team and when.”