British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is interested in purchasing Manchester United should the club be put up for sale, sources confirmed on Wednesday.
“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer. If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership,” Ratcliffe’s spokesperson commented during an interview with The Times.
The Glazer family, Manchester United’s current majority owners, are facing widespread backlash over their failure to invest in the team’s growth since acquiring ownership in 2005. In addition to the Glazers’ failure to refurbish Old Trafford stadium, the club’s net debt has grown by 11% to reach approximately £496 million pounds at the end of March under the Glazers’ watch.
Owner of petrochemicals giant Ineos, Ratcliffe is a lifelong Manchester United fan and is interested in rebuilding the club, particularly since he understands its importance to the city, his spokesperson confirmed.
Manchester United finished sixth in the Premier League last season, racking up their lowest-ever points tally and failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. The club hired manager Erik ten Hag in the summer in an attempt to turn the team’s fortune around, however, no improvement has been realized as of yet, with the team losing both of its first two league fixtures this season.