Connect with us


Sir Jim Ratcliffe faces biggest Manchester United challenge yet, it is unexpected



| Last Updated:


Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team are set to face their biggest challenge yet, and it won’t be something they would’ve expected when they took charge at Manchester United.

The British billionaire took over Manchester United’s footballing department earlier this year when his investment was ratified by Premier League authorities.

Major changes were needed, and Ratcliffe knew he was in for a long ride. Whether it be the playing squad, manager, facilities, or executives – things needed to change.

People were overjoyed when the INEOS chief was able to snatch Omar Berrada from Manchester City to become the club’s new chief executive.

Then news came of Jason Wilcox and Dan Ashworth becoming the leaders of the brand-new sporting project. “Footballing people making footballing decisions”, the fans roared. It is a far cry from Ed Woodward signing Bastian Schweinsteiger for how many shirts he would sell.

Yet, one thing that Ratcliffe might not have expected is that when those footballing people start to make their footballing decisions, it best not clash with what some of the fans want. Otherwise, you’ll have problems.

Erik ten Hag has just won United the FA Cup after an epic Wembley final win over Manchester City. Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho — two players the Dutchman has developed since joining in 2022 — scored the goals.

Many fans are excited and now want the former Ajax boss to lead the club into the new INEOS era. Have we forgotten the eighth-place Premier League finish and Champions League group exit? The FA Cup final was not supposed to determine his future – basing your long-term goals on one game is a Glazer move.

Yes, Ten Hag has had extreme issues to deal with at Old Trafford, whether that be the Jadon Sancho debacle or dealing with over 60 different cases of illness or injury. However, it seems that the cup final win, from a general fan point-of-view, has put huge pressure on the decision-makers to keep Ten Hag at the helm.

These are the same decision-makers who were being lauded two months prior due to the fact that they would make the tough choices that Woodward and the Glazers were either too scared or uninformed to make themselves.

Personally, after seeing that cup final victory, there is nothing more I would love than to see Ten Hag turn things around and succeed at Old Trafford. Not with FA Cups or Carabao Cups, but with the big trophies.

Yet, if that is not the decision made by the people who aren’t writing an article for a fan-website, I will not be angry. I might not agree with their decision about who he is replaced with but we can’t start throwing our toys out of the pram when footballing people start making footballing decisions.

Whatever happens, Ratcliffe now realises that there will be an outcry. No matter what, INEOS will have millions of fans calling their decision “a disgrace”.

Getting the footballing people in the building is one thing. But INEOS now have the monumental task of keeping their cool, not letting the noise dictate their decision, and then making the right one. Otherwise, they will be fed to the wolves.