At last. A deal has been struck. After a never-ending stream of gossip and rumors about potential deals, owners of England’s most-historic club, Manchester United, have sold a minority stake of their club. While this leaves the majority stake and monetary control of the team to the Glazer family, it moves imperative responsibilities to the newest owner, British billionaire and life-long fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The Red Devils confirmed the news of this latest change in ownership via social media and by representatives from United and INEOS, Ratcliffe’s company.

This acquisition gives Sir Ratcliffe a 25% stake in the club as well as the responsibility of managing sole control over soccer operations at Manchester United, stretching from the men’s and women’s first teams, to the youth academies.

Along with his purchase, Ratcliffe contributed an additional 300 million dollars to his new club, immediately sending a message on his aggressiveness and commitment to fix the club. This money may be heading towards the summer transfer window to acquire talent or plans to build a new stadium. While the news of a shift in ownership is exciting for United fans, a lot of fans wanted to see the Glazer family completely depart from Manchester United.

The Glazer family is an American-based family that also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Glazers have been owners of the English club since its purchase in 2005 from J.P McManus and John Magnier. 

Despite the Glazer family remaining majority owners of Manchester United, they will be taking on a more reserved role and will allow Ratcliffe’s sports group of INEOS to take control of the footballing operations of the club. A move that many consider smart considering the group’s experience in the sports realm, with soccer, rugby, racing, and cycling.

“Through INEOS Sport, Manchester United will have access to seasoned high-performance professionals, experienced in creating and leading elite teams from both inside and outside the game,” said brothers Joel and Avram Glazer.

Sir Ratcliffe already has stated that he has ambitious plans for the team, as in his mind and most United fan’s minds the Red Devils have lacked success in the past decade since the departure of former coach Sir Alex Ferguson.

“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. It should be playing the best football in the world, it hasn’t been doing that for 10 or 11 years,” said Mr. Ratcliffe.

At the top of Sir Ratcliffe’s wish list is knocking off dreaded rivals Liverpool and Manchester City from their perches. 

There are rumors that Sir Ratcliffe will push for a massive summer squad wipeout, with some reports suggesting that he will let as many as 11 first-team players leave when the summer transfer window comes. With summer cleaning set to take place at the club, and new money to spend on players it will be interesting to see what approach Ratcliffe will use for his signings compared to what has been seen in previous seasons at United. Over the last year Manchester United’s wage bill is down $63.8 million dollars which has been caused by squad turnover as well as absence from the Champions League. 

“So when I was talking about being best in class in all aspects of football, recruitment is clearly top of the list. I’m more thinking about getting recruitment in a good place in the future,” said Sir Ratcliffe.


Ratcliffe has already pledged to make significant changes to the overall structure of the club and he doesn’t plan to stop as he looks to shake up the leadership for the Red Devils. 

Ratcliffe plans to cut 25% of the workforce at United as there are concerns that there is a bloated bureaucracy for the club. This decision is also driven by financial concerns and poor recruitment as these factors have hindered the spending ability of the club for several years. Ratcliffe has recently appointed former Manchester City executive Omar Berrada as the newest CEO of Manchester United. Berrada will be in charge of bringing the wage bill for the club under control. There are also rumors that Ratcliffe wants Dan Ashworth, the current director at Newcastle United, to take over as the new sporting director for the club. Southampton’s Jason Wilcox and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Sam Jewell are also being looked at as potential senior recruiters for the United side.

For the fans of Manchester United, there is a new hope that the shake-up in leadership will lead to signs of success reflective of the club’s past. The Red Devils haven’t won a Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson captured the club’s 20th league title in 2012. Since this last league title, United have had eight managers (including two caretakers and one interim) and have spent over 1.5 billion euros. United currently sits in 6th place in the Premier League, eight points off a Champions League spot, and eliminated from all other cup competitions.


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