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Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe Acquires Stake in Manchester United


Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Ineos, has successfully acquired a substantial 27.7 per cent stake in Manchester United, granting his company, Ineos, control over the football operations of the iconic club.


The acquisition, completed with the purchase of 25 per cent of the club's Class B shares and an equivalent percentage of Class A shares, received approval from both the Premier League and the Football Association last week, with the official confirmation coming on Tuesday night.


Expressing his gratitude and recognizing the responsibility that accompanies this ownership, Sir Jim Ratcliffe stated, "To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility." He emphasized the beginning of a journey aimed at restoring Manchester United to its pinnacle in English, European, and world football, with a commitment to providing world-class facilities for fans.


Ratcliffe's investment involves paying $33 (£26) per share for a quarter of the Class A shares and the same price for 25 per cent of the Class B shares held by the Glazer family. Notably, each Class B share carries ten times the voting power of a Class A share.


Further investment is planned, with Ratcliffe agreeing to inject an additional $100 million (£79.2 million) by December 31, which will increase his ownership stake to 28.9 per cent.


United's co-chairman, Joel Glazer, welcomed Ratcliffe as co-owner and expressed anticipation in collaborating closely with him and Ineos Sport to steer Manchester United towards a prosperous future.


Ratcliffe's ties to Manchester United are deeply rooted, as he hails from Failsworth in Greater Manchester and has been a passionate supporter of the club since childhood. His involvement has already been noticeable, with his presence at significant events like the annual memorial for the Munich air disaster at Old Trafford on February 6.


Ineos' director of sport, Sir Dave Brailsford, is also expected to play a pivotal role as the company assumes control of football operations. Already, changes are underway, with the recent appointment of Manchester City's Omar Berrada as chief executive.


The completion of this deal marks the culmination of a saga that began in November 2022 when the Glazers announced plans for a strategic review, potentially including the sale of the club. Ratcliffe's persistence and strategic approach have finally resulted in the acquisition of a significant minority stake, solidifying his position in the future trajectory of Manchester United.

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