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Sir Jim Ratcliffe turns attention to minority stake in Manchester United

Ownership situation at Old Trafford remains uncertain as Glazers refuse to accept any bids

Manchester United, one of the most prestigious and valuable football clubs in the world, is currently in a state of uncertainty regarding its ownership. The club's fans have been left frustrated as clarity over the ownership has yet to materialize, despite a turbulent start to the season.

Recent reports suggest that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a British billionaire, could be considering a minority stake in the club. This move is seen as an attempt to bring an end to the long-drawn-out process of ownership transition. According to Sky News, Ratcliffe's proposal involves purchasing stakes from both the Glazer family, the current owners, and the club's publicly traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

However, this move is unlikely to satisfy the club's fans who have been advocating for a complete change in ownership and a full takeover. Ratcliffe, owner of Ligue 1 side OGC Nice and Formula 1 team Mercedes, has made a previous bid for a much larger stake in the club but to no avail.

Glazer family maintain control of Manchester Uinted to fans' dismay

Adding to the disappointment among the Manchester United fanbase is the fact that any shares Ratcliffe purchases from the NYSE would be significantly less influential than the Class B shares owned by the Glazer family.

A statement from the Manchester United Supporter’s Trust (MUST) at the start of the season described the Glazer family as taking the club and its supporters hostage.

A statement from MUST read:

"As time goes on this feels less like a sale process and more like the Glazer family is holding Manchester United and its fans hostage."

“The united message of fans is clear – sell the club. And if they do not intend to do so, at least have the courage to say that and explain what the charade of the last nine months has been about."

“On the pitch, there is clear progress at United and the whole fan base is behind Erik and the team.”

The group has warned that the situation and discontent among fans is likely to escalate, especially given Manchester United's poor start to the Premier League season. The uncertainty surrounding the club's ownership is adding to the existing tension and dissatisfaction among the fans.

Sheikh Jassim unsuccessful in bid for total control of Manchester United

If Ratcliffe were to purchase any shares from a member of the Glazer family, those Class B shares would immediately be converted into Class A shares, which come with less voting power. This implies that even if Ratcliffe were to acquire around 25% of shares in Manchester United, he would only control approximately 6% of the voting power.

In addition to Ratcliffe's potential stake, there have also been reports of Sheikh Jassim, a member of the Qatari royal family, showing interest in the club. This would involve the Qatari taking outright ownership of the club from the Glazer family, marking a significant shift in the club's ownership structure.

The future of Manchester United's ownership remains uncertain, with potential stakeholders like Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim in the picture. However, the fans' demand for a complete change in ownership and a full takeover continues to echo. As the season progresses, the club's performance and the resolution of the ownership issue will be closely watched by fans and stakeholders alike.

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