Man Utd takeover: Ratcliffe makes ‘failure’ admission as the fans are told there’s no ‘downside’ to bid

Joe Williams
Man Utd bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe stands outside Old Trafford.

Manchester United bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe couldn’t “contemplate” failing if he managed to push a takeover of the Red Devils through.

Nine months ago the owners announced a full sale was among the options being considered as part of a strategic review at the Old Trafford club.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe made offers to buy Man Utd, yet the interminable potential takeover process rumbles on as fans continue to protest against the Glazers.

Hopes of a full sale were seemingly dashed when the Mail on Sunday reported that the owners are taking the club off the market and will try to sell again in 2025.

That report led to more than £500m being knocked off Man Utd’s share price last Tuesday but there have been reports since suggesting talks are continuing over a potential sale this year.

After the New York Stock Exchange reopened following the Labor Day holiday, the price plummeted from 23.66 US dollars (£18.83) to 19.35 US dollars (£15.40) by close.

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Man Utd’s market capitalisation – the company’s worth on the stock market – was left at 3.15billion US dollars (£2.5billion) after the 18.22 per cent drop.

Earlier this year the Glazer family reportedly valued Man Utd at £6bn but there have been suggestions that the Man Utd owners now think the club is ‘potentially worth somewhere in the region of £10bn’.

And, speaking in a rare interview with INEOS.TV, Man Utd bidder Ratcliffe addressed the ongoing sale of the club: “The Manchester United bid would have been unthinkable two or three years ago if we hadn’t had some of the experiences – some quite difficult experiences with Lausanne and Nice.

“You can’t really contemplate acquiring a brand like Manchester United and failing because the failure is just far too public and excruciating in a deal like that.”

Former Scotland international Andy Gray reckons the Qatar bid stands out as having no downsides after witnessing “probably the best World Cup” he’s ever seen when the Middle Eastern country hosted the tournament last winter.

Gray told the Daily Mail: “If I supported United, I’d welcome the Qatar bid. They’d clear the debt, rebuild the stadium and sign the best players. Where is the downside in that?

“Qatar isn’t perfect, but there isn’t a country which is. They hosted probably the best World Cup we’ve seen. The organisation was great, and there was no trouble.”