Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ‘needless’ policy has ‘destroyed morale’ at Man Utd as ‘best staff’ to leave

Will Ford
Ratcliffe Man Utd
New Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been criticised for a “needless” policy that’s “destroyed morale” at Manchester United.

The Ineos owner took charge of football operations at United in February when he bought a 27.7 per cent stake in the club and a strategic review has led to a number of changes behind the scenes.

Office or redundancy

One of those changes has been to force members of staff back to work in their offices from June 1, ending the work from home culture.

Anyone that doesn’t agree can take voluntary redundancy beforehand and receive their four-figure bonus for the season before they leave.

Keith Wyness – the former Everton CEO who now runs a football consultancy advising elite clubs – reckons Ratcliffe’s command is “pretty needless” and that the co-owner is “not turning out to be as smart” as he thought he may be.

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‘Destroyed morale at Man Utd’

Wyness told Football Insider‘s Insider Track podcast: “When I talked to some people in the industry about this, they were very surprised. When you decide on bringing everyone back to the office, it means all your best staff leave.

“Some of your best staff will go because it’s not how they work any more. Particularly in the social media and IT areas. Those areas are key in terms of revenue.

“It was surprising to see Ratcliffe go back to old management styles of a few years ago, before lockdown and try and try and impose that.

“I’m seeing Ratcliffe make quite a few mistakes as he’s moving forward. He’s not turning out to be as smart as I thought he would be. I don’t think he’s gone about it the right way. He’s destroyed morale at Man United.

“It’s a rude awakening, which sometimes you need if you’re making change – but he’s gone about it all the wrong way. I’m watching him very closely and I think he’s got off on the wrong foot in a number of areas.

“There’s a lot of moving parts – the manager, the players, the executive level, the Dan Ashworth issue, the Old Trafford issue. To add another level of stress by making this big noise with the staff, it seems pretty needless. We’ll have to see how it works.”