Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been told that Manchester United is “not for sale” following yet more talk of a prospective buyout.
The 69-year-old from Failsworth is one of the richest men in the UK and his name has regularly been floated around as one of the names who could potentially buy the Premier League club and global sporting brand.
The CEO of INEOS – a multinational chemicals company which replaced Team Sky cycling when he bought the franchise – went on to say: “I met Joel and Avram, and they are the nicest people.”
“They are proper gentlemen, and they don’t want to sell United. It is owned by the six children of the father and they don’t want to sell.”
Quotes like this will surely frustrate United fans who have not only long hoped for a sale to materialise but also consider the Glazers the root of their team’s failings over the past decade.
Ratcliffe was recently pictured with members of The 1958 supporters’ group who still believe him to be the frontrunner in the race to save the club from the so-called ‘Glazernomics‘ that have seen them deeper into debt and further down the table.
One of the most vilified footballing administrations anywhere in the world, the Glazer family have been in charge at Man United since 2005 and fans have been protesting their ownership ever since.
The ‘Glazers Out‘ protests hit a fever pitch over the past year or so, with massive demonstrations before several games and fans even breaking onto the pitch back in May 2021.
Ratcliffe stated his intentions rather clearly to the outlet: “If it had been for sale in the summer, yes we would probably have had a go following on from the Chelsea thing.”
The businessman also made a late bid to buy the west London club before it was acquired by American Todd Boehly, whose designs on the league as a whole have led to much debate.
The likes of United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and more are now at least partially owned by American investors and many are speculating as to the wider impact growing US investment could lead to.
Despite being in the conversation for several years, 2022 has been the closest he has ever come to a real bid after he was linked with the consortium headed up by Michael Knighton, a former United director whose infamous £20 million bid to buy the club back in 1989 went up in flames due to financing.
Knighton, who began preparing an approach back in August, admitted that he needed the funding of parties like Ratcliffe to make a genuine proposal possible. Even with his backing, it looks as though the Glazers aren’t even close to entertaining a deal.
Ranked 27th on the Sunday Times Rich List, the entrepreneur is one of the few candidates with the kind of money capable of purchasing the mega club from its American owners, but it looks like Reds will have to keep waiting for a breakthrough.
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Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott ‘working on plans’ to screen England vs France game at AO Arena gig
Paul Heaton has said that he’s ‘working on plans’ to screen the England vs France World Cup match ahead of his gig in Manchester this weekend.
Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott are set to play a huge gig at the AO Arena this Saturday – clashing with England’s quarter finals game.
Paul has said that they understand fans ‘might prefer not to miss the youthful looks of Jack Grealish’.
His announcement that they are hoping to show the game has drawn a mixed reaction from fans.
Many welcomed the news that they wouldn’t have to miss the huge match from the Qatar World Cup.
But others said that it would ruin the show, with one person tweeting: “Please don’t ruin the show with that. I’ll be wanting my money back if I’m going to see football rather than the music!”
Paul replied to say: “We won’t. We just have to make sure the place isn’t half full.”
He has now gone on to address the divided opinions on the football being screened at the AO Arena, sharing a photo of himself pulling a silly face with the words: “Me trying to work out what to do next Saturday @England @AOArena.”
Many fans have pointed out that Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott aren’t actually due on stage until 9pm and that, all being well, the game will be over by then anyway.
Others have pleaded that they don’t cut the show short to fit it in around the England vs France game, and wondered what it would mean for Billy Bragg’s supporting slot.
Jacqui Abbott hasn’t been able to perform with the group for the last few shows due to ill health, but it’s hoped she’ll be back on stage with her former The Beautiful South bandmate by the time they gig in Manchester.
The duo offered refunds to anyone who no longer wanted to attend the concerts without Jacqui after she was told to sit them out on doctor’s orders.
But Paul added: “For those who choose to retain their tickets for the next three shows, I promise you that myself & the boys will put on a show to remember. We’ll sorely miss Jacqui but our intent is to make those who refund their tickets bitterly regret that decision. Thanks for your support.”
The pair were on the receiving end of a lot of praise from members of the public after announcing the tour, and capping ticket prices at £30.
They went on BBC Breakfast to speak about rising costs in the music industry while promoting their new album.
He said at the time: “I’m very much against greed in the industry. I feel as though there is quite a lot. We are trying to just battle and say ‘we’ll do it for as low as we can’.”
They also said they want to ‘set a bit of an example’ for the rest of the industry.
Featured image: Publicity picture
Gary Neville is taking The Overlap Live on tour with Roy Keane, Jamie Carragher and more
Gary Neville’s The Overlap has quickly become one of the most popular sports podcasts in the UK and now they’re taking the hit Sky Sports show on the road.
The Overlap Live Tour was announced on Monday, 5 December, revealing four massive live shows across the UK and Ireland in 2023, featuring go-to guests Jamie Carragher, Roy Keane and more.
Due to high demand, a fourth show in Dublin was added to the list of dates which will no doubt please everyone’s favourite irritable Irishman.
The sports discussion podcast and YouTube show gives exclusive insights into some of Britain’s greatest athletes and a behind-the-scenes look at their lives outside of the sporting area.
While Neville and co. have held standalone live shows and fan debates before in the likes of London and Manchester, this is the first official Overlap Tour, with the run ending at O2 Apollo Manchester on 8 June.
Regular host Josh Denzel and Sky Sports’Monday Night Football presenter Kelly Cates will be joining them on their Overlap Live trip around the UK next year.
Used to heated discussion and no-holds-barred opinions, Gary said: “The reaction to the Wembley show has been brilliant so we are delighted to be able to confirm three new dates… It’s fair to say these will be lively shows and I think all three of us know exactly what we are in for!
“As with the Wembley show we’ll be opening up to questions throughout the night, which we might live to regret, but it should be interesting to say the least – particularly for me and Roy in Liverpool! Seriously though, these will all be great nights – so join us if you like!”