Premier League approve Ratcliffe stake in Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Sir Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS watches from the directors box ahead of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 14, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

The Premier League has approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United.

The deal had been announced in December 2023 and involved the British billionaire behind Ineos taking a quarter of the club under his ownership as well as the day to day operational running of the Old Trafford club.

Ratcliffe also pledged cash to the upgrading or rebuilding of Manchester United’s ageing stadium.

There had initially been talk of majority owners the Glazer family selling the entirety of the club they have owned since 2005 but the Americans eventually settled on releasing a minority stake.

In a statement the Premier League said: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25 per cent of Manchester United FC, and further investment of $300m in the club, has been approved by the Premier League Board following the completion of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT).

“The Board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel.

“The Premier League’s Owners’ Charter has also been signed.

“This is the first acquisition of Control to be reviewed and approved by a new Independent Oversight Panel following changes to the process which were agreed by Premier League clubs in March 2023.

“The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion.

With the deal now expected to go through between Ratcliffe and the Glazer family, attention will turn to future changes at the club.

United have poached former Manchester City chief Omar Berrada earlier this season – he is expected to come in at the end of the current campaign – and are working on long-term plans for Old Trafford.

But outgoing MP Tracey Crouch, the former sports minister whose recommendations have led to plans for an independent football regulator, has said United can forget about any use of public money through the Levelling Up fund for help in paying for redevelopments.

“Sir Jim Ratcliffe knew what he was taking on when he bought into Manchester United,” Crouch told City A.M. last week.

“Old Trafford may need upgrading to meet today’s standards, but funding should not come out of the taxpayer’s pocket to benefit the billionaires who own the club – especially as other clubs like Bury have faced ruin, devastating the town around them, with no bailout from the public purse.”

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