Manchester United: Sir Jim Ratcliffe pushing to sign off deal for minority stake in club before Christmas

21 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Sir Jim Ratcliffe billboard near Old TraffordSir Jim Ratcliffe's deal is expected to see significant funds used to upgrade the club's training ground and Old Trafford stadium

Manchester United's drawn-out ownership saga could be resolved before Christmas Day.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is eager to get a deal signed off before 25 December which would see his Ineos Group pay around £1.25bn to buy 25% of the club.

BBC Sport understands there has been fresh impetus around negotiations this week.

It is more than a year since the Glazer family announced they were considering selling the club.

However, despite several false dawns, the long-mooted deal for Ratcliffe's Ineos to become minority shareholders has still not been confirmed.

It is expected advisers on all sides will work late on Friday, or into the weekend, if necessary providing a positive outcome is still possible before the Christmas break.

Once a deal is agreed it will be followed by a six-to-eight week period for the purchase to be signed off by the Premier League.

Many at Old Trafford feel the continuing delay is having a negative effect on the club, with most still unsure of Ratcliffe's plans for the football side, nor who is likely to be working for him at Old Trafford, other than trusted Ineos director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford.

Ineos and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani both initially tabled bids of around £5bn for the 20-time English champions.

However, neither bidder was willing to reach the Glazer family's valuation, with co-chairs Joel and Avram Glazer both known to be reluctant sellers.

Sheikh Jassim withdrew from the process in October, claiming his final bid, thought to be double United's $3.2bn (£2.64bn) stock market valuation, had not met the Glazers' demands.

Ratcliffe had already amended his initial plan to buy the Glazers' 69% shareholding and reduced it to a 'majority' stake.

But it was only when he reduced it again, to an anticipated 25%, that the potential for an agreement increased.

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