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Sir Jim Ratcliffe calls Newcastle “completely stupid” and jokes that Sheikh Jassim “doesn’t exist”



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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has spoken to the media for the first time since his 27.7 per cent stake in Manchester United has been confirmed.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has paid £1.3 billion to become Manchester United‘s single largest shareholder, and his new position comes with a lot of responsibility.

He and his INEOS team have been granted all sporting control of the Old Trafford club surrounding Erik ten Hag, and part of this includes making a number of new appointments above the manager to install a modern sporting structure.

Read More: Sir Jim Ratcliffe reveals Mason Greenwood plan in full statement on Man United loanee

One of these appointments has come in the form of Omar Berrada, who has defected from Manchester City to become United’s new CEO, and he is expected to start work in the summer.

A second appointment was set to be Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United, but the Geordie club have reacted badly to United’s approach for their sporting director and have placed him on two years of gardening leave, demanding £20 million in compensation

“It’s a bit silly, personally. I won’t get dragged into that,” was Ratcliffe’s reply when asked how he felt about Newcastle’s reaction.

“What I do think is completely absurd is suggesting a man who is really good at his job sits in his garden for one-and-a-half years. That’s completely stupid.”

He continued: “We had a very grown-up conversation with Manchester City about Omar. They were very, very disappointed in Omar’s decision but Omar again went for the same reasons. But we had a very grown-up conversation.”

In order to secure his part of United, Ratcliffe had to battle Qatari Sheikh Jassim and has jibed that the man himself never actually existed.

“Still, nobody’s ever seen him, actually,’ Ratcliffe joked. “The Glazers never met him… he never… I’m not sure he exists!”