- The British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to buy Manchester United.
- Ratcliffe tried to purchase Chelsea FC earlier this year, but was trumped by Todd Boehly.
- “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson said.
The British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who tried and failed to buy Chelsea FC earlier this year, now wants to buy Manchester United.
News of Ratcliffe’s interest came after Bloomberg reported that United’s current owners, the Glazer family, were considering selling a minority stake in the club.
“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson told The Times of London on Thursday.
Bloomberg’s report said the Glazers were not yet ready to cede control of United despite mounting pressure from the club’s fans for them to sell up amid a poor start to the season.
Ratcliffe’s spokesperson told The Times that the billionaire would be willing to discuss a minority holding with the Glazers, but only if it meant taking control of the club at a later date.
“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson said.
Ratcliffe, 69, is the CEO and founder of the chemicals giant Ineos. He is also the owner of French soccer team OGC Nice, the Swiss soccer club Lausanne-Sport, and the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team.
In April, Ratcliffe launched a late bid to purchase Chelsea in April after it was put up for sale by the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
His bid, however, was trumped by a $5.3 billion offer from a consortium led by Todd Boehly, an American businessman who co-owns the LA Dodgers.
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust told BBC Sport that it welcomed the news of Ratcliffe’s interest but said that a takeover would need the backing of fans.
“While supporters have called for change, this of course has to be the right change,” a spokesperson said.
“Any prospective new owner has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club. They have to be willing to invest to restore United to former glories, and that investment must be real new money spent on the playing side and the stadium.
“Finally, any new ownership structure must embed supporters, including a degree of fan share ownership, in their operating model.”