Maybe many MU fans will not be satisfied, but the participation of the British billionaire is the first step towards the resurrection of the Red Devils.
When Manchester United fans set off fireworks near Old Trafford to welcome the news that the Glazer family had put the club up for sale, they probably did not expect the long and gloomy process that would follow over the next 11 months, according to.
That process is finally coming to an end as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group approaches a 25% stake in the club for a rumored £1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) after Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani withdrew his offer.
At first glance, this result is not encouraging. The Glazer family remains in control and will make more money from the cash cow they started cultivating 18 years ago, earning about double the £790 million ($959 million) they paid for it. the whole club in 2005 to sell part i.e. a quarter of the club. And there is no guarantee that the capital invested will be reinvested in the club.
After nearly a year of protests and updates of varying credibility, the reviled Glazers still own the club and United remain heavily in debt. Owner opposition is unlikely to wane following this long-awaited development.
However, there are reasons to be optimistic about INEOS coming in and exercising governance over sports matters. After a decade of embarrassment, since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, United will finally be run by people who know what they are doing…
From the beginning things were unclear
The general reaction from fans following the weekend’s news has been one of confusion. Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, who has strongly criticized the Glazer family’s ownership in recent years, said INEOS’s investment “leaves more questions than answers” and raised 16 separate questions about how INEOS’s participation will affect the club.
Considering the process was murky and unclear from the start, the unhappy ending is arguably appropriate. While many fans yearn for what Neville calls “a full exit of the Glazer family” and agree with the full sale promised by Sheikh Jassim, that is just one of the potential outcomes being discussed. mentioned when the club spoke last November announcing that the club was “exploring various strategic options”.
“The director general will consider all strategic options, including new investments in the club, sales, or other transactions involving the company,” that statement said, noting: “There can be no assurance that the ongoing review will result in any transaction involving the company.”
Until Saturday’s news that Sheikh Jassim was about to withdraw from the negotiating process, there was a feeling that this was a story with no end in sight. Sources close to the Qatari billionaire reported in August that they had not received any response from the club regarding the offer and said they were worried that the Glazer family did not want to sell the club. A report in September with the same view sent the club’s share price plunging to its lowest ever.
With Manchester United remaining silent on the matter and neither INEOS nor Sheikh Jassim speaking out to discuss their plans due to confidentiality agreements, all fans must rely on unsourced reports. Whether reports say Qatar’s offer or INEOS’s offer is in the lead is often determined by how close journalists are to each offer.
Highly demanding and accountable
Ratcliffe will be expected to take on a key role in how Manchester United is managed and he has a reputation as a ruthless man. Check out his sarcastic comments about United in a 2019 interview with The Times: “INEOS never wants to be a lost cause in the city, never. They’re in big trouble in business.”. They chose the wrong manager and didn’t buy good players. They were a waste of money, as you see with players like Fred. United has spent a huge amount of money since Ferguson left and has become It’s worse, to put it mildly. It’s terrible, to be honest.
“We have a different approach here, which is moderately intelligent—trying to work from the ground up, finding young talent. Some clubs are capable of doing that, like Southampton, and Lille. United did a terrible job of that. They lost their way.”
Ratcliffe will also bring a necessary accountability. The Glazer family have not been seen at Old Trafford for many years and only Avram Glazer has been seen attending recent matches, going to last season’s FA Cup men’s and women’s final and the Carabao Cup win over Newcastle.
The Americans hate public attention and communicate very little with fans. However, the British tycoon welcomes the attention and has a record of positive interactions with Nice fans. While that’s not always a good thing (Mike Ashley famously bought beer for Newcastle fans when he first bought the club, but later became local enemy number one), this will is a welcome change from the Glazer family’s aloof approach.
He will try very hard to make an impression and has proposed expanding Old Trafford’s capacity to 90,000 seats. Owning a minority stake in Ratcliffe may not be what fans would have wished for more than a year ago, but it is a small step on the road to Manchester United’s eventual recovery.