The Beginning Of ‘The End Of The Glazers’

By Shyam
4 Min Read
Jim Ratcliffe

On Christmas Eve, Manchester United eventually disclosed Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% takeover, but the language in the club statement says it all about the relationship between the Glazers and the fans.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% stake in Manchester United has been officially announced. On Christmas Eve, more than a year after the Glazers indicated they were considering a sale, United fans have a resolution. It’s a shame it’s taken this long.

Despite many bidders and bidding processes, the Glazers still own the bulk of the club. Sheikh Jassim’s Qatari-backed bid was Ratcliffe’s main rival, but his pledge of billions was insufficient to compete with the British effort.

Ratcliffe realized that the only way to finish this process was to make the Glazers an offer they couldn’t refuse: a large sum of money in exchange for the majority of the company’s ownership. They have, however, given up one thing. They’ve relinquished complete control of football operations.

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This means Ratcliffe and his crew will now be in charge of everything. This will include everything from having the last say on manager decisions and transfers to hiring people behind the scenes. But what makes Ratcliffe’s decision special is how it was phrased in United’s statement.

After years of underperformance, it is understandable that Ratcliffe, a Manchester United fan, would want to have as much control over the football team as possible. What is surprising is that, according to the statement, he did not request it.

The following is an excerpt from the statement: “As part of the transaction, INEOS has accepted a request by the board to be delegated responsibility for the management of the club’s football operations.”

The Glazers asked Ratcliffe’s firm to handle the football side. In other words, they couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. You’d think Ratcliffe taking over the football team would be a formality, but the Glazers appear to have been keen for him to do so.

This makes logical given the amount of labour required. Old Trafford is decaying, the transfer strategy has been abysmal for a long time, and the training ground is so old that Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t believe it when he returned.

Of course, all of this has occurred under the Glazers’ supervision, and they have no intention of rectifying the situation. As a result, they pass on the difficulties they caused at the earliest opportunity.

Ratcliffe has a huge dump of work ahead of him, but he is not avoiding responsibility and has assured fans that he is in it for the long haul. He remarked after taking over: “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.

“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 recognize that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour.”

By Shyam
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Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.