Meet billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe – childhood Man Utd fan and comments on club

After the disastrous Super League scandal and Ed Woodward’s resignation as executive vice-chairman, the Glazers could be the next to leave Manchester United.

If they did decide to sell up, the Americans would likely demand a fee never before seen in the sale of a football club.

Very few people would have the capability to be able to match the Glazers ’ expected value of the club, though one of them happens to be a boyhood fan of the Red Devils.

That person is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Oldham-born billionaire owner of chemical giant Ineos, who is also Britain’s richest man.

Ratcliffe is now based in Monaco, from where he runs Ineos, as well as Ligue 1 football club Nice and professional cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, who as Team Sky were seven-time Tour de France winners.

He has also owns Sir Ben Ainslie's sailing team, Ineos Team UK, as well as being one of the sponsors of the Mercedes Formula One team.

The 68-year-old made his money through shale gas as a co-founder of Inspec, before launching Ineos in 1998.

Though he has been a United fan since childhood, he became a season ticket holder at Premier League rivals Chelsea after moving to London.

He then eyed a deal to buy a Premier League club, with Chelsea one of the teams considered, before moving onto French football in 2019.

Despite turning his attention away from Premier League football, Sir Jim would undoubtedly be able to buy virtually any club he wanted, with the Englishman having a personal net worth of £12.27 billion.

While money would not be an obstacle to a deal for United, the running of the club by the Glazer family is an issue.

Sir Jim has moved to distance himself from a potential purchase because of the fortunes of the club since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

“[Ineos] never wants to be the dumb money in town, never, never,” he told The Times in 2019 following his purchase of Nice.

“They are in quite a big pickle as a business. They haven't got the manager selection right, haven't bought well. They have been the dumb money, which you see with players like Fred."

“United have spent an immense amount since Ferguson left and been poor, to put it mildly. Shockingly poor, to be honest.”

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