Billionaire Manchester United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms bid to purchase club

INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe is pictured at the Coupe de France final between Nice and Nantes at the Stade de France on 7 May, 2022 in Paris, France.
(Image credit: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images)

British Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and his petrochemicals conglomerate INEOS have tabled a formal bid for "majority ownership" of Manchester United (opens in new tab).

United's current owners, the controversial Glazer family, put the club up for sale back in November, having had majority control since 2005.

Multi-billionaire Ratcliffe – a United supporter who grew up on a council estate in nearby Failsworth – had been expected to enter the race to take over at Old Trafford. Ineos join Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani (opens in new tab) as one of two officially interested parties.

In a statement confirming their offer, INEOS said (opens in new tab):

"We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community. 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."

According to their website, INEOS' annual revenue stands at $65bn (just under £54bn). The group already owns two football clubs – Nice of Ligue 1 and Swiss Super League outfit Lausanne-Sport – as well as sponsoring the INEOS Grenadiers professional cycling team and holding a stake in the Mercedes Formula One team.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...