Manchester United Supporters’ Trust Demands Transparency in Ratcliffe’s Investment Deal

Fans Seek Clarification as INEOS Group Acquires 25% Stake with Control over Club’s Football Operations

In a major development for Manchester United, British petrochemicals magnate Sir Jim Ratcliffe has clinched a £1.3 billion deal with the Glazer family, securing a 25 percent stake in the club. The agreement crucially grants Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group control over the football operations of the prestigious club. Despite Ratcliffe’s £236 million pledge to invest further, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) is reserving judgment until they see the “proof in the pudding.”

Ratcliffe, a 71-year-old lifelong Manchester United fan, finalized the deal that marks a significant shift in ownership dynamics. The Glazers, who have been at the helm since 2005 following a contentious leveraged buyout, have faced ongoing criticism from fans for their management style and the club’s financial situation.

MUST issued a cautious statement expressing mixed feelings about the deal, acknowledging the positive aspect of a fellow fan like Ratcliffe investing in the club. However, the supporters’ group remains skeptical, questioning the extent of Ratcliffe’s ownership and emphasizing concerns about the continued influence of the Glazer family.

“In 18 years of debt, decay, and mismanagement, Manchester United fans have loudly and consistently called for change at our Club,” the MUST statement asserted. “While we welcome the investment from a boyhood red, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS company, many will wish his ownership stake was greater than the initially rumored 25 per cent.”

The statement goes on to highlight the ambiguity surrounding the control of sporting activities, expressing puzzlement at entrusting such a crucial aspect to a minority shareholder. The supporters demand clarity from the club’s owners and management on how the new structure will operate, where the investment will be directed, and how it will benefit the team on the field.

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“As the Supporters Trust, we expect to have discussions with the Club management and the INEOS team in the near future to understand their plans and to put to them the very many questions fans have today,” the MUST statement concluded, underscoring the need for open communication and transparency in this transformative phase for Manchester United.

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