Tycoon's change of focus

Ratcliffe rules out bid to buy Liverpool or Man Utd

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Focus: Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he will not be buying Liverpool or Manchester United as neither club offers good investment value.

The Fenway Sports Group (FSG) has put the Merseyside club up for sale, with a price tag reportedly around the £4bn mark – more than 10 times what they paid when buying out Tom Hicks and George Gillett 12 years ago.

Ratcliffe, owner of petrochemical giant Ineos, part-owner of the Grangemouth chemicals plant, tried unsuccessfully to buy Chelsea in April for over £4bn and has spoken of his desire to one day own his favourite club Manchester United.

However, in the wake of the Anfield developments this week, the 69-year-old tycoon has seemingly turned his focus away from the English Premier League and back on to French football – Ineos bought Ligue 1 Nice for £91m in 2019.

Speaking to The Telegraph, his spokesman said: “Our position has developed since the summer and we are now focusing our efforts in Nice and raising our ambitions for the club to make them into a top tier club in France to compete with PSG.

“This would represent much better value for our investment than buying one of the top tier Premier League clubs.”

Ineos also owns Swiss Super League team Lausanne-Sport as well as Nice.

Amid the growing speculation that FSG was ready to hang up the ‘For Sale’ on the front door at Anfield, the American owners said in a statement: “FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties seeking to become shareholders in Liverpool.

“There have been a number of recent changes of ownership and rumours of changes in ownership at EPL clubs and inevitably we are asked regularly about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool.

“FSG has said before that under the right terms and conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club. FSG remains fully committed to the success of Liverpool, both on and off the pitch.”

Despite those sentiments, FSG appears to have run its course as owner of Liverpool, with reports emerging in UAE that Dubai International Capital are among the interested parties.

The Glazer family has been in charge of Manchester United since 2005 and have been under pressure for some time now over their running of the club.

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