Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe has indicated that he would be interested in buying Manchester United should the Glazer family be prepared to sell their entire controlling stake in the club – with suggestions that a sale of another part of their holding could be imminent.
A spokesman for Ratcliffe (69) said: “If the club is for sale Jim is definitely a potential buyer”.
The Ineos billionaire failed in a late attempt to buy Chelsea earlier this year having joined the process after the deadline set by the New York merchant bank for bids to be submitted by interested parties.
Potential investors in United are being sounded out by third parties on behalf of the club as to their interest in buying a part of the Glazer stake, in the latest hint that the 17-year ownership by the US-based family may yet be drawing to a close.
The Ineos spokesman said Ratcliffe would only be interested in “long-term ownership” and not sharing the decision-making process. He added that “the time was right for a reset”.
The Glazer ownership, despised by United’s match-going fans, has never been under greater pressure after two defeats at the start of this season following last year’s managerial chaos and a sixth-place finish that left them out of Champions League qualification.
In the midst of a dreadful start to 2022-’23 and chaos in the club’s transfer market dealings it has emerged that advisors with links to the Glazer family are contacting potential investors over interest – although it remains unclear whether any official appointment has been made to sell the club.
The value of the club’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange has plunged over the last year although they have rallied in the last 24 hours up more than 5pc yesterday.
The market values the club at £1.83bn (€2.16bn) currently, although the Glazers have placed a much higher price on United with some estimating that it will take £5bn (€5.92bn) to secure the wealthiest club – by revenue generation – in English football.
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