Sir Jim Ratcliffe purchased 25 per cent of Man Utd for £1.2bn; the deal gives the INEOS owner control of football operations, plus a say in the commercial side controlled by the Glazer family; Man Utd are not expected to be busy in the January window.
An announcement finally came on Christmas Eve, bringing an end to 13 months of talks about a potential takeover of the Old Trafford club.
Ratcliffe is acquiring the interest for $33-a-share (£26) in a deal that “will include all aspects of the men’s and women’s football operations and academies” for his INEOS group, a statement said.
It is expected Sir Dave Brailsford – INEOS director of sport – and Jean-Claude Blanc – CEO of INEOS Sport and a former executive at Juventus and Paris St-Germain – will have seats on the Manchester United club board.
Through Ratcliffe’s INEOS Sport, United said they “will have access to seasoned high-performance professionals, experienced in creating and leading elite teams from both inside and outside the game”.
United’s home is likely to need far more than £245m to deliver the overhaul that is required to turn it into one of the world’s elite football stadia once more.
The redevelopment will be financed personally by the billionaire and will not add to Manchester United’s existing borrowings.
“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 recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the club – the board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the club forward.