Ratcliffe’s Deal Gets Approval But What Does The Future Hold

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It has been an interesting few years at Old Trafford as former serial Premier League winning champions, Manchester United, continue to struggle to live up to their prior expectations that were achieved under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

A host of new managers, massive spending and squad changes, have not really led to a notably change in their fortunes, and despite the wild optimism that surrounded the appointment of Dutchman Erik ten Hag, there is also no denying that he has struggled and anyone paying attention to the club would not have expected anything less, and sports odds for nz would no doubt have reflected that.

Not all of that can be strictly laid at the door of the new gaffer though, he has had a host of off pitch problems to deal with – not least the extremely well reported falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo before they ‘amicably parted ways’ and then, of course, there are other issues unrelated to football.

Whilst all of that takes centre stage, there is another off pitch issue that has been rumbling on for a good number of months. It started with the Glazer family being open to a sale, but has ended up with Sir Jim Ratcliffe of the Ineos Group taking a 25% stake in the company. The British billionaire’s buy in is reported to be in the region of about £1.03 billion, and it is a very hefty stake to have made.

Of course, for Manchester United on pitch success is one thing, but from a business point of view their global revenue base and reach, makes this deal feel a little less strange.

What is strange about the deal is Ratcliffe has negotiated full control of playing matters and acquisition despite the minimum ownership share, and the deal has long been agreed in principle – but on Wednesday it was finally ratified by the Football Association and the Premier League itself.

Now this deal, and approval, is still contingent on the share offering ending on Friday night in the United States, but it really is simply a formality now.

It is also the first new ownership deal to go through under yet another strengthened, owners’ and directors’ test, that the Premier League have employed for years – but actually in reality never really seems capable of being worth the paper it was printed on.

Everyone in the wider world of football has their individual thoughts on what this deal may ultimately prove to be for the Red Devil’s, it will not guarantee an immediate change of fortunes, and there will be United fans who remember who the Glazer’s purchased the club in the first place, and simple wonder if Ratcliffe is cashing in.

For his part, he has met with fans and fan groups and engaged in feedback – but happens next is anyone’s guess.

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