Ratcliffe jets into Manchester for talks with Old Trafford chiefs

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is greeted by Man United CEO Richard Arnold at Old Trafford as Britain’s richest man prepares to make his presentation to buy the Premier League giants… after his Saudi rivals made their pitch yesterday

  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe has arrived at Old Trafford for takeover talks with Man United  
  • He was pictured touching down in Manchester before greeting Richard Arnold 
  • The billionaire hopes to be selected ahead of Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has arrived in Manchester for talks with Man United chiefs as the billionaire bids to charm officials with his vision for the club.

The UK’s richest man was pictured at Old Trafford on Friday after touching down in the City to discuss his potential takeover with club officials as he rivals a group of Qatari bidders – led by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani – who gave their presentation on Thursday. 

Ratcliffe – who owns Ligue 1 side Nice and heads up INEOS, a partner of the Mercedes F1 team, was photographed arriving at Old Trafford and being greeted by chief executive Richard Arnold. 

Sportsmail reported that talks between Al Thani’s representatives and United chiefs went on for around ten hours and were positive as they were toured around Old Trafford and their Carrington training complex.

Al Thani has now been invited to make a second bid for United and he has ten days to submit the offer as he looks to take control of the club from the Glazers – who have owned the Red Devils since 2005.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (R) has arrived at Old Trafford for takeover talks with Manchester United chiefs – with the 70-year-old pictured greeting chief executive Richard Arnold 

The 70-year-old has been joined for the crunch talks with members of his team at INEOS  

The billionaire was pictured touching down in Manchester as he prepares to outline his vision 

Ratcliffe will hope to convince United that his bid is the best way forward. He is being joined at the talks by ex-Team Sky and British Cycling supremo Sir Dave Brailsford, fellow Ineos owners Andy Currie and John Reece and Ineos chair and chief executive Rob Nevin and Jean Claude Blanc.

Ratcliffe’s group wants to take the Glazers’ majority stake while Sheikh Jassim wants 100 per cent of the club and has promised to clear the historic debt from the Glazer’s leveraged buyout. 

Speaking about his bid in February, Ratcliffe’s company Ineos outlined their desire to make United ‘the number one club in the world once again’ and vowed to be ‘custodians’ of the club on behalf one fans.

‘We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community,’ Ineos said. 

‘We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again … making the club a beacon for a modern, progressive, fan-centred approach to ownership.’ 

Ratcliffe – who owns Ligue 1 team Nice in addition to Ineos – is being rivaled by Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani

Executives of Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani toured Old Trafford and Carrington on Thursday

Ratcliffe can expect a similar greeting to one Al Thani’s team received. The Qatar officials were met by senior members of Raine Group, which is overseeing the process, at around 10am and were shown around Old Trafford.  

They were then taken in black Mercedes people carriers on the 15-minute journey to Carrington. 

At the training ground a number of departments across United’s business delivered Powerpoint presentations. On the football side, they were shown how United approach recruitment. 

They also spoke to execs from United’s finance and commercial branches. United’s owners, the Glazer family, were not there. Much of the focus was on the financial picture.The group was also given a tour of the complex, which is also in need of investment. 

Sheikh Jassim was not present for the talks, which concluded at around 7.20pm. United manager Erik ten Hag was in Seville, where his side defeated Real Betis 1-0 in the second leg of their Europa League tie to progress 5-1 on aggregate.

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