Premier League Approves Ratcliffe’s $1.3bn Manchester United Stake


Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire and founder of Ineos Group, has received the Premier League’s approval to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United, worth about $1.3bn (£1.03bn).

The deal, which is still pending the Football Association’s approval, will give Ratcliffe’s company control over the football operations of the club, including the men’s and women’s teams and the academies.

The Glazer family, who bought Manchester United for £790m in 2005, will remain the majority owners of the club, but will sell 25% of their class B shares and up to 25% of their class A shares to Ratcliffe. The class B shares have almost all the voting rights, while the class A shares are traded on the New York Stock Market.

Ratcliffe, 71, has also signed the owners’ charter, a document that outlines the responsibilities and obligations of club owners. His deal is the first to pass the Premier League’s new owners’ and directors’ test, which was introduced in March 2023 and involves an independent oversight panel.

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The Premier League said in a statement: “The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion.”

Ratcliffe, who is a lifelong Manchester United fan, has agreed to invest $300m (£236m) into the club’s Old Trafford stadium, which is in need of renovation. He has already visited the stadium and the training ground several times, and is waiting for the final approval from the FA.

According to BBC Sport, the process is moving forward positively and the deal is expected to be completed soon.

The Glazer family announced in November 2022 that they were exploring strategic alternatives for the club, amid growing discontent from the fans and poor performance on the pitch. 

Ratcliffe’s deal could bring some fresh impetus and stability to the club, which is currently sixth in the Premier League table.