After months of potential speculation and alleged interest, British Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed he has officially joined the race to buy Manchester United.
In November, United’s current owners the Glazer family said they were considering selling the club as they “explore strategic alternatives” and now Ineos, the company owned by Ratcliffe, has “formally put ourselves into the process”.
Ratcliffe previously made an unsuccessful late £4.25bn offer to buy Chelsea last year after the Russian owner Roma Abramovich put the London club up for sale. The Ineos owner then said he would have tried to buy United but following a meeting with brothers Joel and Avram Glazer, he stated they did not want to sell.
The Ineos group currently owns Ligue 1 club Nice and Swiss side Lausanne. Their sporting owernship also includes the high-profile sailing team Ineos Britannia - led by Sir Ben Ainslie - whichis aiming to win the 2024 America’s Cup for Great Britain; the British-based cycling side Team Sky; and the company also has a five-year partnership with Formula 1 team Mercedes.
Here is how much the Ineos CEO is reportedly worth and what he has said about potentially buying Manchester United:
Jim Ratcliffe net worth
Sir James “Jim” Ratcliffe has a real time net worth of $13 Billion according to Forbes Magazine.
That makes him the 140th richest man in the world as of today (Thursday, August 18) and one of the richest men in Britain.
The 69-year old is the founder, chairman and majority owner of Ineos Group - a British multinational chemicals company headquartered and registered in London.
Per Forbes, Ratcliffe is an ‘adventure seeker’ who has made trips to both the North and South poles while Ineos also owns Swiss soccer team Lausanne and British fashion brand Belstaff.
Earlier this year he was one of several businessmen interested in purchasing Chelsea from Roman Abramovich but was unable to strike a deal for the London based club.
What has Jim Ratcliffe said about buying Manchester United?
Although he has not spoken directly on the matter, a spokesperson for the British billionaire was interviewed by The Times several months ago confirming the 69-year old’s interest in buying the club.
They said: “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.
“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”
Who else is interested in buying Manchester United?
Saudi Arabia Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal previously confirmed his country’s intentions to buy the club which is valued at around £5bn. Newcastle was bought by the Saudis in 2021 through the Public Investment fund and now they are looking to expand their ownership with the Prince saying: “If there are investors and the numbers add up, and it makes a good business. Then the private sector could come in, or companies could come in, from the kingdom.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. Everyone’s watching the Premier League. It’s the most watched league and there are diehard fans of these teams in the kingdom. So it would be a benefit for everyone.”
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, previously caused a Twitter storm when he posted that he would be buying the Red Devils but the excitement was quickly extinguished when he later confirmed he was joking and had no intention of buying any sports team at this time.
The Tesla CEO did leave the door ever so slightly open however, adding that if he ever did want to purchase a sports team then Manchester United are the club he would like to own.