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Sir Jim Ratcliffe may have to wait 10 years before completing his mission to overthrow the Glazer family as Manchester United owners, according to a football finance expert. Ratcliffe is set to purchase a 25 per cent stake in United, leaving many supporters hoping for a full sale bitterly disappointed after a frustrating 11-month process.
The INEOS CEO, who turns 71 on Wednesday, has reached a £1.3billion agreement with the Glazers after Qatari royal Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani withdrew from the takeover picture last week.
United’s 12 board members will vote to ratify Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent stake in a meeting on Thursday. The deal could then take up to two months to go through.
INEOS are expected to inherit total control over sporting decisions at Old Trafford, which may lead to a shake-up of the football department that operates closely with Erik ten Hag.
Ratcliffe is reportedly eyeing eventual full control by buying out the Glazers’ remaining shares as part of a phased takeover.
However, football finance expert Rob Wilson has suggested there may not be any major developments in the near future.
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He told Saxo: “The Ratcliffe bid comes down to the basics of finance.
“The Glazers clearly want more than the perceived market value of Manchester United football club, and it presents the idea that Sheikh Jassim’s bid was undervaluing the organisation.
“The Ratcliffe bid allows Jim to have a smaller investment at this stage and then look at using his knowledge investment to see where the club can go in the next five years, and I imagine he will then be able to take a bigger stake as things unfold.
“The reality is that the Sir Jim, INEOS bid will start with 25 per cent and then will look to increase over the next five to 10 years depending on what the Glazers decide to do with the asset.
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“A lot will also depend on the sporting and financial performance of the organisation and requirements for any stadium, redesign, maintenance or re-development.”
United fans have protested against the Glazer family’s ownership since their controversial 2005 takeover worth less than £1bn.
And they intensified outrage among the fanbase by rejecting Sheikh Jassim’s £5bn offer for 100 per cent, despite it almost doubling the club’s £2.6bn market value.
Ratcliffe will be aware that the toxicity won’t disappear but will worsen the longer he waits to remove the Glazers from Old Trafford.
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