The Premier League on Tuesday, February 13 confirmed the successful completion of British tycoon Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to secure a significant minority stake in the iconic football club Manchester United.
The approval came after Ratcliffe, the affluent chairman of chemical giant INEOS, navigated through the stringent Owners’ and Directors’ Test set by the league.
The transaction, valued at an impressive $1.25 billion, not only cements Ratcliffe’s 25% ownership but also includes a substantial commitment of $300 million dedicated to enhancing the club’s infrastructure. This investment is poised to usher in a new era for the club’s soccer operations, with Ratcliffe at the helm. The deal was initially agreed upon in the final month of the previous year.
While the Premier League’s nod marks a significant milestone, the Football Association’s endorsement remains the final procedural step. However, expectations are high that this will be a mere formality for the 71-year-old investor.
Premier League’s statement on Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of Manchester United
“Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25 per cent of Manchester United FC, and further investment of $300 million in the club, has been approved by the Premier League Board, following the completion of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT).”
“The Board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel.”
“The Premier League’s Owners’ Charter has also been signed.”
“This is the first acquisition of Control to be reviewed and approved by a new Independent Oversight Panel following changes to the process which were agreed by Premier League clubs in March 2023.”
“The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion,” read the statement.
Ratcliffe’s decision to invest in Manchester United brings closure to a period of speculation that began in November 2022 when the Glazer family, the American proprietors who have held the reins since 2005, announced their openness to external investment. Their tenure has been marred by fan discontent, particularly following the retirement of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, which many believe led to a downturn in the club’s illustrious history.
This landmark acquisition also stands as the inaugural case to be examined and greenlit by the Premier League’s newly instituted Independent Oversight Panel.
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