football

Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes deal to buy Manchester United minority stake

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake in Manchester United has been completed to enable his INEOS company control of football operations at the club.

The Ineos founder, chairman and chief executive has completed his acquisition of 25 per cent of the Club's class B shares and 25 per cent of the club's Class A shares.

The investment from Trawlers Ltd, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, received Premier League and Football Association approval last week.

Ratcliffe said: "To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility.

"This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans.

"Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today."

Ratcliffe has agreed to pay £26 ($33) per share for a quarter of the Class A shares, as well as paying that price for 25 per cent of the Class B shares held by the Glazer family. Each Class B shares confers 10 times as many votes as a Class A share.

Further shares have been issued in return for the initial £158.5m ($200m) capital investment made by Ratcliffe upon completion of the deal. Ratcliffe will invest a further £79.2m ($100m) by December 31 and his ownership will then increase to 28.9 per cent.

United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: "I would like to welcome Sir Jim as co-owner and look forward to working closely with him and Ineos Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United."

The completion of the deal marks the conclusion of a saga which began back in November 2022 when the Glazers announced plans for a strategic review which could include the sale of the club.

Ratcliffe, along with Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim, were the frontrunners when it became apparent a full sale would be considered, but the latter withdrew last October.

Ratcliffe's focus shifted to the purchase of a significant minority stake, which has finally been completed.

Ratcliffe and his team have wasted no time getting to know the club during the seven-week process to overcome the necessary hurdles, with Sir Dave Brailsford, director of sport at INEOS, a regular presence around the club.

One of their first moves has been to appoint Omar Berrada from rivals Manchester City as the club's new chief executive.

Sky Sports News understands the appointment was made by Ratcliffe in consultation with Joel and Avram Glazer but that INEOS were the driving force behind the move.

INEOS are also lining up a move for Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth after Manchester United approached the Magpies for the 52-year-old.

Newcastle have placed Ashworth on gardening leave after he told the Tyneside club he wanted to leave on Sunday.

Ashworth is top of Ratcliffe's list to front up his new football operation at Old Trafford but a deal is not straightforward.

Newcastle have not put a figure on Ashworth's services, but it is thought it could reach in excess of £10m should Man Utd want to buy out his contract so he can start work ahead of the summer transfer window.

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