Old Trafford latest

Ratcliffe eyes minority stake in Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Fan: Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is considering ditching his attempt to buy Manchester United and instead take a minority stake in the club.

The billionaire, who owns the Ineos petrochemical plant at Grangemouth, is reportedly eyeing a move for 25 per cent of United’s shares at a cost of around £1.5 billion, a change of tactic which would see the Glazer family retain control.

The club was put up for sale by the Glazers some ten months ago, with one of the UK’s richest men and Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani both tabling offers thought to be around the £5bn mark.

Both bids are believed to be short of the £6bn price tag the Americans are demanding, though the prospect of banking such a huge sum while staying in control, could be appealing.

The Glazers bought the club in 2005 for around £800m and have become the target of protests from disenchanted supporters frustrated at the way the club has been run.

Any deal which sees the majority stakeholding at Old Trafford remain unaffected, would not be welcomed by the United fans desperate to see a change at the top.

Last year boyhood United fan Ratcliffe failed in an attempt to buy Chelsea prior to Todd Boehly’s successful takeover.

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