- Ineos considers boosting Old Trafford’s capacity to 90,000 if Sir Jim Ratcliffe successfully acquires a 25% stake in Manchester United.
- Current discussions with the Glazers, Manchester United’s present owners, heavily involve expansion and upgrade considerations.
- The acquisition route opened up after Sheikh Jassim’s world-record bid for full control was withdrawn.
- A potential partial takeover by Ineos could set the stage for full club ownership in the future.
- Manchester United supporters express concerns about continued Glazer majority shareholding.
Acquisition and Expansion
If Sir Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos secures a 25% stake in Manchester United, there’s potential buzz around expanding the iconic Old Trafford’s seating capacity to a whopping 90,000. This would rival Wembley in terms of size. A significant portion of the ongoing discussions between Ratcliffe and the Glazers, the club’s existing proprietors, revolves around the stadium’s expansion and upgrade.
BREAKING: Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are expected to run Manchester United's football operations as part of their deal to purchase 25 per cent of the club 🔴⚽ pic.twitter.com/rJyN52XLYi
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 15, 2023
The Path to Stake Ownership
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s quest to own a portion of Manchester United became feasible after Sheikh Jassim withdrew his ambitious bid to fully control the club. It’s slated that Ratcliffe will receive confirmation on his £1.3 billion bid for 25% ownership this Thursday. Under the proposed deal, Ineos would also assume command of the football-related business activities from the Glazer family. Such a move might just be an early indication of Ineos’s aspirations for complete club ownership down the line.
Stakeholder and Fan Reactions
While the potential partial takeover sounds promising, many Manchester United fans voice concerns. The primary grievance being the Glazers retaining a majority share and their continual involvement.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is close to acquiring a 25% stake in Man United, sources have told ESPN.
Ratcliffe is willing to pay between £1.3 billion and £1.5bn, which would see his INEOS team have "sporting influence" at Old Trafford.
The Glazers would retain a majority stake. pic.twitter.com/c5KU4WwSWE
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 15, 2023
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust conveyed its sentiments through a statement, highlighting:
“It would be wildly optimistic to think Glazers are acting in the interests of supporters or are making ownership decisions which don’t centre on their own priorities.”
The Trust earnestly requests all involved parties to prioritize the club’s welfare over individual interests and seeks clarity on several points surrounding Ineos’s reported 25% stake acquisition.
Gary Neville, a prominent voice in football, also chimed in with his apprehensions. Taking to X, previously known as Twitter, he listed 16 pressing questions he believes the Glazers should address.
The Manchester United board is scheduled to convene this Thursday, and the potential deal with Ineos is undoubtedly on their agenda. As the club stands at this significant crossroad, its loyal fans await decisions that resonate with the club’s heritage, values, and long-term vision.