One of Britain’s richest men, Manchester United supporter Sir Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying the Premier League club if it were up for sale.
A source has told Sky Sports News that Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, is seriously considering buying Unitedand former players are said to be involved with Grenadiers chief executive Sir Dave Brailsford, a former performance director at British Cycling.
The 69-year-old billionaire is the chairman and chief executive of chemical company Ineos and also owns French Ligue 1 football team Nice, which he took over in 2019, and Swiss side FC Lausanne-Sport.
The British billionaire, who has a net worth of $7.18bn (£5.96bn), according to Bloomberg, failed to Last minute £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea in May, as American businessman Todd Boehly successfully acquired the club, and Ratcliffe has now turned his attention to the Red Devils.
His interest comes after a Bloomberg report said the Glazer family, owners of United since 2005, were considering selling a minority stake in the club.
Preliminary talks have taken place to bring in a new investor, according to the broadcaster, which ranks Ratcliffe as the sixth richest person in the UK.
An Ineos spokesman said the company would be interested in buying a smaller stake with a view to possibly buying the club.
“If something like this were possible, we would be interested in discussing with a view to long-term ownership,” an Ineos spokesperson told The Times.
“It’s not about the money that has been spent or not. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it looks like the time has come for a discount. to zero.”
The Glazer family are not ready to concede the majority stake and expect to value the club at more than double its current market capitalization of $2.2bn (£1.83bn), a source has claimed. other source.
The Glazers are unpopular with United fans, unhappy with the club’s ownership model and declining performance on the pitch, having failed to win a Premier League title in nine years and failed to lift a trophy in five year.
The team are currently bottom of the league without points after two games, while United’s net debt had risen 11% to around £496million at the end of March.
The owners have also been criticized for failing to improve Old Trafford stadium, the biggest club ground in the country with a capacity of around 74,000 fans.
Supporters regularly protest against them.
Manchester United did not comment on the story. The club declined to talk about the rumors and speculation.
The news comes on the same day as the Tesla founder Elon Musk clarified a previous tweet which seemed to suggest he was buying the club.
He later wrote, “I don’t buy any sports team. Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U. They were my favorite team when I was a kid.”