Will billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe ever acquire Manchester United?

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United ownership bid remains a pipe dream
The British billionaire remains optimistic about owning Old Trafford one day
But the Glazers family won’t sell the club yet

Even with all his wealth, Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United ownership bid remains a pipe dream.

The British billionaire remains optimistic about owning Old Trafford one day but the current owners, the Glazers family are adamant. His company, Ineos, owns the French club Nice and the Swiss team Lausanne.

Recent reports indicate that the Glazer family reportedly assured Ratcliffe that they have no intention of selling Manchester United. However, Ratcliffe is still keen on acquiring a Premier League team.

In May, Ratcliffe, at age 69, attempted but failed to purchase Chelsea from its current owners. The billionaire met the Glazer brothers, Joel and Avram. He later said that six children who make up the Glazers family are not interested in selling the club.

According to BBC, he gushed about meeting Joel and Avram at a Financial Times Live conference. The billionaire said that the two sons are the sweetest people he has met. They have the demeanour of proper gentlemen.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Photo y the People’s Person


While Ratcliffe’s heart remains etched on Old Trafford, he is realistic. He says that it beats logic waiting for Manchester United to become available

He notes that after what happened with Chelsea, he probably would have made an offer for United. But only if it is on the market in the summer which it is not.

The Glazer family took ownership of the club in 2005. United fans staged a protest against the club’s owners in May of last year, forcing them to postpone their home Premier League game against Liverpool.

This season, thousands of fans marched to Old Trafford in August to demonstrate against Glazers’ leadership. The protest renewed Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United ownership thirst.

It came in the wake of a £4.25 billion ($4.8 billion) proposal to purchase Chelsea from a group of investors led by American businessman Todd Boehly.

Following that offer, in a BBC Sport interview, Ratcliffe revealed that he is originally a United fan. However, he was experiencing ‘divided allegiance’ between the two clubs.

He says his desire to join the Premier League is because the most popular sport in the world is football and is close to his heart. While United are not the top club, he feels he will add value to the club.


Rupert Murdoch had a short stint of bidding to acquire the Red Devils in the late 90s. Perhaps, that’s the reason that inspires Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United to go for its ownership.

Here’s a little history about the club’s ownership. Formed in 1878 as the works team for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway’s Newton Heath depot, the club was formerly known as Newton Heath LYR Football Club.

After being saved from bankruptcy in 1902, the club changed its name to Manchester United. It also remained under private control for the next nine decades following its 1892 separation from the railway corporation.

In 1984, media mogul Robert Maxwell and property trader Michael Knighton both attempted to acquire ownership of the club. In 1989, the club went public.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Photo by Daily Express

Then, in 1998, Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB Corporation made an offer to purchase the club before Malcolm Glazer announced his investment in the club in 2003.

From the end of 2003 to the end of 2004, Glazer nearly doubled his investment from 3.17% to over 15%. In May of 2005, he bought John Magnier and J. P. McManus’s 28.7 percent interest.

This increased his ownership to about 57.1 percent and considerably above the 30 percent barrier that would have necessitated a takeover bid. He then went on to acquire the remaining 75% of the club’s shares a few days later.

Such a stake allowed him to delist the firm from the stock exchange. Within a month, the Glazers acquired 98% of the club via their Red Football parent company, forcing the remaining 2% to sell. The eventual cost to buy the team was close to £800 million.

Glazer borrowed approximately £60 million a year in interest on the loans he used to buy Manchester United, the majority of which were backed by the club’s assets.

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