Despite board changes already being made, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover of Manchester United is reportedly unlikely to be finalised until next week.
The INEOS chief – who already owns Ligue Un outfit OGC Nice – is on the brink of purchasing a 25% stake in Manchester United in a deal worth around £1.25bn.
Ratcliffe was fighting Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim in the takeover race but the British billionaire has edged out his rival after he expressed a willingness to alter the structure of his proposal.
Despite initially only purchasing a minor stake, Ratcliffe will take control of footballing matters at Old Trafford as soon as his deal is completed and it is understood that he will eventually oust the Glazer family by the end of 2026.
A reshuffle behind the scenes is already underway as chief executive Richard Arnold’s exit has been announced and he’s expected to be followed out of the door by director of football John Murtough.
Journalist Ben Jacobs took to X on Friday afternoon to reveal that Ratcliffe’s deal “will not be announced today”.
“Understand Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% stake in #MUFC will not be announced today,” Jacobs revealed.
“The hope remains it will be confirmed early next week, and before Thanksgiving, with an announcement this week always termed ‘feasible but optimistic’ by sources.”
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Club legend David Beckham has reiterated that a “change” in ownership is needed at Man Utd.
“I am a true Manchester United fan who only wants the good for our club and only wants us to get back to top level again. But that has to start at the top. It has to start with ownership,” Beckham told Sportstar.
“We have talked about the change that should happen. I have been very vocal about Manchester United needing a change. When Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013, there was always going to be a dip. You can’t stay at the top level.
“But we stayed put for the amount of years because we had the stability of having someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, our manager.
“Now we have had quite a few managers over the last 10 years and that is unfortunate because it brings the stability that we had with Sir Alex Ferguson, you don’t have that anymore. It shows in the way we play.”
He added: “It shows in the way the club has obviously declined. But we are still Manchester United. No one can change that. We are still, in my eyes, the best club in the world, but there was always going to be a moment where… decline is the wrong word.”
Olivia Martin is a dedicated sports journalist based in the UK. With a passion for various athletic disciplines, she covers everything from major league championships to local sports events, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis.