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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Jonathan Gorrie

Sir Alex Ferguson 'optimistic' Sir Jim Ratcliffe can bring about change at Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson is “optimistic” Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s seemingly imminent arrival at Manchester United will help the club improve.

The Scotsman’s 2013 departure sent United into a spiral. The Glazer family ownership have constantly been criticised for their decisions since and the club are yet to win the Premier League or the Champions League in the post-Ferguson era.

British billionaire Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group are widely expected to pay around £1.25bn for a 25 percent stake in the club, while also taking significant control of United’s footballing operations.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (PA) (PA Wire)

INEOS also own Swiss side FC Lausanne-Sport and French outfit Nice as well as the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team and INEOS Britannia - the sailing team led by Sir Ben Ainslie. Ratcliffe was also interested in purchasing Chelsea in 2022.

A deal is believed to be imminent a year after the Glazers announced they were considering “strategic alternatives”, which included a potential sale.

Both Ratcliffe and Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani emerged from a large field of interested parties and made bids worth around £5bn for a complete takeover.

Such offers, however, fell some way short of the Glazer family’s valuation and Sheikh Jassim ultimately pulled out of proceedings.

Ratcliffe, born in Oldham and a boyhood United fan, continued to pursue a minority stake and a deal is thought to be close to completion.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in an interview courtesy of Gambling Zone said: “I am still a director of the club and I know Jim [Ratcliffe] well. We shall have to see what he does but I am optimistic.”

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