Man Utd: Ratcliffe insists Ten Hag ‘not the issue’ after ‘committing adultery’

Jason Soutar
Erik ten Hag and Sir Jim Ratcliffe with the Man Utd badge
Man Utd must have breached PSR last season according to a financial expert.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has spoken for the first time after deciding to keep Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, insisting “the coach isn’t the central issue” for the club.

Ten Hag is in talks over a new contract at Old Trafford after Man Utd co-owner Ratcliffe decided to keep the Dutchman in charge following an end-of-season review.

Lots of managers were linked with the job and it was believed that the British billionaire was very keen on appointing England manager Gareth Southgate.

From UEFA blocking the signing of Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo to Manchester City’s legal battle with the Premier League, Ratcliffe discussed many things during an interview with Bloomberg, but he has publicly spoken about the managerial situation for the first time since news of Ten Hag not being sacked broke.

Ratcliffe breaks silence after keeping Ten Hag at Man Utd

Ratcliffe insists the manager is not the main issue for the club and has instead pointed to the “environment” around the place.

“The coach isn’t the central issue at Manchester United,” said Ratcliffe.

“It’s a sports club. It needs to be competitive, it needs a degree of intensity, but with a supportive side to it because you are dealing with players who are relatively young. It hasn’t had that type of environment historically.”

Man Utd: Ratcliffe ‘commits adultery’ by talking to managers without sacking Ten Hag

These comments come after former Red Devils striker Andy Cole slammed Ratcliffe for speaking to former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel over the managerial role at Old Trafford while Ten Hag was still in the job.

Cole believes these conversations are the equivalent of ‘committing adultery’.

“For Erik ten Hag to claim that he was told by the club that they were speaking to Thomas Tuchel is crazy,” Cole said.

“It’s just strange and even more so when you consider how public it’s all been. Admitting that you’ve spoken to another manager is like telling your wife that you’ve been messaging another girl. It’s like committing adultery.”

Southgate responds to Man Utd boss Ten Hag over Shaw comments

Ten Hag said last week that he does not expect to see Man Utd left-back Luke Shaw feature in any of England’s Euro 2024 group games and after making the bench for the tournament opener against Serbia on Sunday, Gareth Southgate has confirmed he will not feature against Denmark on Thursday.

“He’s actually on track for where we thought he would be originally,” Southgate said.

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“We were hoping a couple of days ago we might be able to accelerate that a little bit but he needs a bit more volume work.

“He didn’t train with the rest of the group today because there are days when he needs to do more than the rest of the group and days when he needs to recover when the others are pushing.

“He’s still in and out with the others, but operating on his own programme, as well.”

When Ten Hag’s comments were put to Southgate, he said: “Luke is an outstanding player, that’s why we have taken the decision to bring him, even though he has not played for so long.

“We are hopeful that can be as soon as possible, I don’t want to put a timeline on it. He is progressing well. The balance he gives, the drive he gives, whoever plays with him down the side of the pitch, he gives a different outlet.

“At the moment we don’t have him, so we are adapting to that and having to find a different way.”

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