Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the potential Manchester United buyer
- Manchester United fans have been on the record demanding a change of ownership at Old Trafford
- The current owners, the Glazers have however insisted the troubled club is not up for sale
- Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has stated his interest to buy the Premier League giant
Sir Jim Ratcliffe made the headlines in April when he launched a late bid to buy Chelsea for £4bn, and now it appears he has his sights set on Manchester United.
British billionaire’s interest in buying Chelsea was reported even before Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale way back on 1 March, though his subsequent offer to takeover the club was successful.
Now, a spokesperson for Ratcliffe has confirmed that, “…if the club [Man Utd] 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.”
That has set the pulses racing among Man Utd fans who are hugely frustrated with the Glazer family ownership and the way they handle business. But who is Ratcliffe, how much is he worth, why would he take over at Old Trafford and how much for?
Here’s a profile of the man interested in taking over at the Theatre of Dreams.
Ratcliffe is the chairman and CEO of Ineos, the fourth largest chemicals company in the world.
He graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in chemical engineering in 1974, before taking a MSc in finance at the London Business School in 1978.
After co-founding chemical company Inspec, Ratcliffe formed Ineos in 1998 and has been in charge ever since.
What is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s net worth?
Ratcliffe’s net worth was estimated at $28.2bn (£21.2bn) by Bloomberg Billionaires Index in April 2020, which would make him the 55th richest person in the world.
Ratcliffe and Ineos currently own two European football clubs.
In 2017, they bought Swiss Super League side FC Lausanne-Sport, before sealing a deal to buy Ligue 1 club Nice two years later.
Ratcliffe has also dipped his toes into the worlds of other sports, too. Ineos is notably the principal partner of Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team, while Ratcliffe and Sir Ben Ainslie have previously partnered to compete in the America’s Cup.
Has Sir Jim Ratcliffe been linked with Man Utd before?
The short answer is no, but he has been linked with Chelsea numerous times.
In 2020, Ratcliffe played down talk that he would be submitting a bid to buy Chelsea, insisting he had quite a busy plate in sport already.
“We are very comfortable with where we are with Nice actually,” he said at the time.
“It’s going quite well, it’s been quite interesting, we are still learning and it is quite a challenging league in France with some very talented players.”
Ratcliffe’s previous interest in Chelsea has shown he’s keen to explore the opportunity of owning a major brand in what is the most competitive and watched league in the world.
More importantly, he’s a fan of Manchester United.
A spokesperson has stated that any potential takeover wouldn’t simply be about money, but would be geared at reconnecting a club of Man Utd’s size to a city of passionate fans – who have been alienated in recent years by the methods of Joel Glazer and co.
A statement read: “This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”
Ratcliffe will also recognise the huge revenues and marketing opportunities that come with owning United, with their worldwide off-field appeal undiminished by their decline on the field in recent years.
How much could Sir Jim Ratcliffe buy Man Utd for?
Radcliffe’s bid for Chelsea was estimated to be worth £4.25bn, but Bloomberg claim that the Glazers aren’t really interested in selling United.
If a bid is to be accepted in the long-run, it’s estimated that Ratcliffe may need to stump up as much as £5bn.