Manchester United have agreed to sell a 25% stake in the club to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Red Devils announced on Sunday.
The INEOS chairman will invest around £1.3 billion for the minority stake and will take charge of football operations at United, in a move which has been welcomed by fans after years of discontent at the Glazers and their ownership of the club.
In addition, Ratcliffe is expected to commit to a further $300m (around £236m) which is “intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford”, which could see the stadium’s capacity increased to 90,000, and the club’s training facilities.
A statement from Ratcliffe on Sunday said: “As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the club,”
And he added: “Whilst the commercial success of the club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.
“We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.
“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the club – the board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the club forward.”
Ratcliffe, who is not expected to take full control from the unpopular Glazers, also outlined his hopes for the club.
“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football,” he said.
“We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS,” executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer said in the statement.
“As part of the strategic review we announced in November 2022, we committed to look at a variety of alternatives to help enhance Manchester United, with a focus on delivering success for our men’s, women’s and Academy teams.”
A statement from Manchester United Supporters Trust said: “Today might – just might – be a step forward for Manchester United after some very difficult years. But with the Glazers still in charge, people should understand that United fans will remain sceptical and wait for the proof in the pudding.”
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