Manchester United get approval from FA to sell minority stake to British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe

Jim Ratcliffe’s proposed bid to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United moved nearer to completion on Wednesday after the Premier League club said the deal had been approved by the English Football Association.

The Premier League has already cleared Ratcliffe to take up a minority share under its rules regarding who is allowed to be an owner or director of a soccer club.

The British billionaire has until February 17 to complete his purchase, although confirmation could come later than that.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, United said the FA had given its approval for the deal to go ahead. League approval was confirmed on Monday.

Ratcliffe is one of Britain’s richest people and the owner of petrochemicals giant INEOS. He agreed a deal to buy a stake in United in December after owners the Glazer family had put the club up for sale in 2022.

The Glazers, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, eventually opted to sell a minority of the 20-time English champion after also fielding bids from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The 71-year-old Ratcliffe has paid $1.3 billion for “up to 25%” of the club and will invest a further $300 million for “future investment into Old Trafford,” United has said.

He will provide $200 million upon completion of the deal and a further $100 million by the end of 2024. That additional investment will eventually take Ratcliffe’s stake up to 29%. The Glazer family will have a 49% stake under the deal.

Racliffe’s INEOS Sport division will take over control of United’s soccer operation.

Fan has been disillusioned with the team’s onfield decline since the retirement of former manager Alex Ferguson in 2013. United has not won the title since Ferguson’s final season and has repeatedly missed out on qualification for the Champions League during that period.

Many United fans have campaigned to drive the Glazers family out.

While fans hoped for a complete buyout of the club, there is optimism Ratcliffe, who was a boyhood United supporter, can help return it to its glory days.

Published By:

Saurabh Kumar

Published On:

Feb 14, 2024

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