Sir Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying a stake in Manchester United with a view to taking full control of the club.
The Glazer family, who have owned the Premier League giants since 2006, are considering selling a minority stake in the club according to a report from Bloomberg.
Ratcliffe, Great Britain’s richest man and a lifelong United supporter, is prepared to enter the fray, according to a spokesman, who told The Times: ‘If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.
‘If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership,’ the spokesman added.
Ratcliffe, CEO of Ineos Group Ltd, recently tried to purchase Chelsea but saw his late bid turned away as Todd Boehly and his consortium completed their takeover of the Blues.
Anger over the Glazer ownership is once again reaching boiling point following the club’s worst-ever Premier League campaign last season and a frustrating summer transfer window where the club have failed to close the gap on their rivals.
United are set to play Liverpool on Monday night with supporters’ group ‘The 1958’ confirming they will be holding protests ahead of kick-off against the current ownership ‘that is systematically starving and killing the greatest football institution in world football, for greed.’
The Glazer family have burdened United with huge debts of around £500m, while they’ve taken almost £1.5bn out of the club since their takeover 17 years ago.
With fans trying to force the Glazers out of the club, Wednesday’s report from Bloomberg claimed the family are ready to sell a minority stake but are not yet ready to cede full control.
Billionaire Elon Musk tweeted early on Wednesday morning that he was buying the club but he quickly clarified the comments, claiming they were a ‘joke’.
Following a dismal start to the new season where United’s failures in the summer transfer market were thrown under the spotlight, club legend Gary Neville once again called for a drastic intervention at board level.
Speaking on Sky Sports following the 4-0 defeat to Brentford last Saturday, he said: ‘When the business is failing and not performing, it’s the owners of that business – it’s really that simple.
‘It’s failing miserably. We’ve now got a decrepit, rotting stadium that is now second rate. It was the best stadium in the world 20 years ago.
‘We’ve got a football project where they haven’t got a clue, they’ve put bankers in charge of the football club not making football decisions. They’ve not appointed a sporting director.
‘We can look at the players all you like, but there are that many big things that need to be put right first.
‘They’ve got to show up and basically face the music – now is the time. You can’t keep hiding in Tampa thinking nothing is going to come back to you.’
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