English Premier LeagueManchester United

Ratcliffe’s Manchester United stake approved by Football Association

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United was given the green light by the Football Association on Wednesday, making the deal a near-certainty.

The FA confirmed its approval in a statement a day after the Premier League also ratified the deal after the 71-year-old Ratcliffe passed their Owners’ and Directors’ test.

Ratcliffe struck a $1.25 billion deal in December for a minority stake in the club and will also invest $300 million into infrastructure improvements.

The deal will see lifelong fan Ratcliffe take charge of the club’s soccer operations with an emphasis on upgrading the Old Trafford stadium and strengthening the playing squad.

Ratification was dependent on approval from the Premier League and Football Association and with that now assured, the deal will be completed once Ratcliffe has acquired 25% of the outstanding Class A shares.

That is expected to happen before February 17.

Ratcliffe’s purchase ended more than a year of uncertainty after majority owners, the Glazer family, said in November 2022 they were looking at strategic options.

The American Glazers have come under heavy criticism from fans who blame them for a steady decline in the fortunes of the 20-time English league champions after a period of domination under manager Alex Ferguson, who retired in 2013.

While many fans would have hopes for a complete sale, Ratcliffe’s arrival had been broadly welcomed.

His influence is already being felt at United with INEOS sports director Dave Brailsford, who carved out his reputation with incredible success at British Cycling and professional team INEOS Grenadiers, to join him on a new-look board.

Ratcliffe also moved to appoint Omar Berrada as the club’s new CEO after he left his role as head of football operations at rivals Manchester City.


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