Manchester United have finally confirmed the sale of a 25 per cent stake to British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe on Christmas Eve.
After a 13-month-long process following the initial announcement searching for ‘strategic alternatives’, the Old Trafford club’s ownership situation has finally come to a conclusion.
Manchester United released the following statement on Saturday 24 December:
“Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU), announces today that it has entered into an agreement under which Chairman of INEOS, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will acquire 25 per cent of Manchester United’s Class B shares and up to 25 per cent of Manchester United’s Class A shares and provide an additional $300 million intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.
“As part of the transaction, INEOS has accepted a request by the Board to be delegated responsibility for the management of the Club’s football operations. This will include all aspects of the men’s and women’s football operations and Academies, alongside two seats on the Manchester United PLC board and the Manchester United Football Club boards.
“The joint ambition is to create a world-class football operation building on the Club’s many existing strengths, including the successful off-pitch performance that it continues to enjoy.”
Ratcliffe is acquiring the interest for £26-a-share and will be shared equally between Class A and Class B shares, which was an important decision in pacifying minority shareholders, according to Ben Jacobs.
Ineos’ chief will take control of the club’s footballing affairs once the deal is approved by the Premier League – a process expected to take between six and eight weeks, meaning that it is likely to be following the January transfer window.
The conclusion of this process comes at a difficult time for the club on the pitch, with Erik ten Hag’s side struggling in the Premier League and having been knocked out of European football following their Champions League exit.
An injection of cash of around £237 million is for investment in its infrastructure, particularly Old Trafford and the Carrington training complex. This will take the total outlay to around £1.2 billion.
Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS. As part of the strategic review we announced in November 2022, we committed to look at a variety of alternatives to help enhance Manchester United, with a focus on delivering success for our men’s, women’s and Academy teams.
“Sir Jim and INEOS bring a wealth of commercial experience as well as significant financial commitment into the Club. And, through INEOS Sport, Manchester United will have access to seasoned high-performance professionals, experienced in creating and leading elite teams from both inside and outside the game.
“Manchester United has talented people right across the Club and our desire is to always improve at every level to help bring our great fans more success in the future.”
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