British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying Manchester United with reports emerging that current owners, the Glazer family, is looking to sell a minority stake in the club.
The reports come the day after Elon Musk offered to buy the club “as a joke”.
Away from Musks’ antics, Jim Ratcliffe seems to be more serious in his approach as the distrust between the Manchester United supporters and the owners continues to grow. United currently sits bottom of the Premier League table, a position not acceptable for the storied club’s fans.
Despite the growing tensions, the Glazers, who own the majority of the club’s shares, are unwilling to give up the controlling stake, pricing the potential buyers away after valuing the club at $5 billion, twice its estimated market value.
Under their ownership, the Glazers have been the target of opprobrium for their failure to invest in the team who has not won a trophy in five years while the club’s net debt has grown 11% to about 496 million pounds ($598 million) by the end of March.
The owners have also been criticised for not improving the Old Trafford stadium, the biggest club ground in the country with a capacity of around 75,000 fans with protests becoming the norm.
United last won their record 20 top-flight league title in 2013, the year Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager after more than 26 years in charge. With prolong failure, the Glazers hired Erik ten Hag from Ajax in a bid to turn around their fortunes but the Dutchman has not yet succeeded.
Ratcliffe, meanwhile, owns a chemical company based in Manchester and has been a long-standing United fan his whole life and feels confident of turning things around if any deal can be made.
The Brit was also in the running to purchase Chelsea football club, which was eventually sold to Todd Boehly’s consortium.