Manchester United bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he doesn't want to pay a 'stupid price' for the club

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe has committed to winning things if he takes majority ownership of the club, but insists he isn't willing to pay a "stupid price". 

Submitting a bid through Ineos, the multinational chemicals company he owns, Ratcliffe met with Manchester United executives last Friday. He faces competition from Qatar Islamic Bank chairman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, with both parties expected to make improved offers to the club's current owners, the Glazers, in the coming days. 

The Glazers reportedly value the club at around £6 billion, a considerable increase from the initial bids of around £4.5 billion submitted by Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim. 

And while it is expected Ratcliffe will make an improved offer, he admitted he won't enter into a bidding war beyond the value of what he believes Manchester United is worth.

“How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint,” Ratcliffe told Wall Street Journal.

“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”

While he declined to discuss financial details of his bid to Wall Street Journal, Ratcliffe highlighted how potentially buying the club is focussed on allowing Manchester United to return to the pinnacle of football.

“Our interest in that club would be purely in winning things,” Ratcliffe added.

Indeed, born and raised in Failsworth, a town in Greater Manchester, Ratcliffe grew up a Manchester United fan during his childhood. The Ineos founder watched Sir Matt Busby's team in action at Old Trafford on a regular basis, and even attended the 1999 Champions League final triumph at Camp Nou. 

Describing Manchester United as a “community asset”, rather than a financial one, Ratcliffe also recognises this investment bucks the trend of his previous, calculated decisions. 

“That [bidding for Manchester United is a risk] in a sense goes without saying, because sport is emotional,” Ratcliffe said.

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.