While the official confirmation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25% stake in Manchester United is pending, key figures within the Red Devils’ hierarchy hold a positive view of the impending deal.
The UK’s wealthiest individual is closing in on a £1.3 billion agreement to secure a quarter of Manchester United.
Despite being a minority stake, Ratcliffe is expected to wield full control over football operations. Reports also suggest that significant changes at the boardroom level are on the horizon, with figures such as football director John Murtough, technical director Darren Fletcher, and director of football operations David Harrison reportedly nearing an exit from Old Trafford.
In the midst of these potential changes, Sir Alex Ferguson, a stalwart in Manchester United’s history, expressed his optimism about Ratcliffe’s involvement.
The 81-year-old, who remains a director at the club, shared positive sentiments when questioned about the situation, saying, “I am still a director of the club, and I know Jim well. We shall have to see what he does, but I am optimistic.”
Despite concerns that news of Ratcliffe’s impending purchase could disrupt on-field performance, especially given the team’s challenging start to the Premier League season, manager Erik ten Hag emphasized that the constant rumors weren’t distracting the players.
In fact, he hinted that the news might motivate the team to deliver an even better performance.
“They (the players) are committed to the club – but especially they are committed to this team,” explained Ten Hag.
“They want to be successful and are therefore aware you need the team, your team-mates and cooperation.
When the cooperation is growing, you will play better. That is how the players are thinking – and they are not thinking about strategic reviews or structures or whatever.”
While the announcement of Ratcliffe’s minority stake is expected in the coming days, the immediate focus within the United dressing room is on the upcoming Sunday fixture against Everton, a team eager to bounce back from their recent 10-point deduction.
Given the current gap between United and those above them in the standings, even a victory at Goodison Park may not elevate them from the sixth position this week.
However, with the fourth and fifth-placed teams, Spurs and Aston Villa, facing each other, Ten Hag’s side has an opportunity to make significant strides up the table.