21st March, Mumbai: Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of the multinational chemical company Ineos and a British billionaire, reportedly said that he would not purchase English football team Manchester United for a “stupid” sum of money.
The Glazer family currently owns Manchester United, one of the most valuable football clubs in the world. They bought the team in 2005 for an estimated £790 million. Since then, the club’s valuation has increased, and it is now thought to be worth over £3 billion.
Owner of the Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport and ardent football supporter Ratcliffe has previously indicated interest in acquiring a Premier League team. Ratcliffe made it clear in a recent interview with Bloomberg that he would only make an offer for Manchester United if the price was fair.
Ratcliffe remarked, “I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go out and buy Manchester United. “I think it’s a fantastic football team, but a stupid price has been paid thus far,” the speaker said.
The timing of Ratcliffe’s remarks coincides with criticism Manchester United is receiving from supporters over the Glazer family’s ownership of the team. Supporters have recently accused the Glazers of putting money ahead of the team’s on-field achievements.
The Glazers have additionally been charged for underfunding the group, which has resulted in a deterioration in performance in recent years. Manchester United has failed to compete with other elite teams in Europe and hasn’t won the English Premier League since 2013.
Some fans, who saw Ratcliffe as a potential saviour for the team, have expressed excitement about the prospect of him purchasing Manchester United. The chemical industry has helped Ratcliffe accumulate money, and his ownership of FC Lausanne-Sport has been hailed as a wise financial decision.
Ratcliffe has stated that he is interested in purchasing a Premier League club, but he will only do it if the price is right. This shows that, despite how badly he might want to run a club, he is not ready to spend excessive amounts of money on it.
Furthermore, Ratcliffe’s remarks reflect the challenging circumstance in which Manchester United finds itself. Although the club is well regarded, the Glazers’ ownership has drawn criticism from supporters and resulted in a deterioration in on-field performance. Although the Glazers might be willing to ask a high price for the club, Ratcliffe and other possible purchasers might not be.
It is uncertain whether Ratcliffe will ever submit a formal bid for Manchester United. His remarks, however, imply that he will base any offer he makes on a comprehensive evaluation of the club’s worth and his readiness to pay a reasonable price.
If Manchester United wants to recover its position as one of the greatest football teams in the world, it will need to address its ownership problems in the interim. It is unclear if this entails a sale to a new owner like Ratcliffe or a change in direction by the Glazers. But one thing is certain: Manchester United’s future remains uncertain, and supporters will be eagerly watching to see how the team manages these difficulties.