Manchester United’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe on the Premier League

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United newest owner, has raised concerns about the club's current management and the future direction of the Premier League.

Jim Ratcliffe, billionaire co-owner of Manchester United and the owner of Petro-chemical giants INEOS, has expressed concerns about the vision of the Premier League and the state of his newly bought club. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ratcliffe, who acquired a minority stake in Manchester United for $1.5 billion six months ago, highlighted the issues within the club and the broader issues facing English football.

Manchester United, once the crown jewel of English football with 20 league titles, has faced challenges recently where they have been unable to compete with the big guns of English Football for the biggest club competitions. Despite an FA Cup victory against Manchester City, the club has been stuck in controversies involving manager Erik ten Hag, various players, and criticism of outdated stadium facilities. A £50M recent investment in the Carrington facility has been welcomed by fans and pundits alike. Sir Jim Ratcliffe observed, “We’ve got more accountants than we’ve got sporting people at Manchester United,” highlighting his dissatisfaction with the club’s current management.

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Since taking control of Manchester United’s football operations, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his staff have focused on cutting losses and restructuring operations. This included the acquisition of a few of the biggest names in English Football operations including Omer Berrarda, and Jason Wilcox in key appointments and the expected signature of Dan Ashworth as the club’s Sporting Director. He emphasized, “There’s room for improvement everywhere we look at Manchester United, and we will improve everything.”

Ratcliffe also expressed his opposition to the proposed UK football regulator and the new spending regulations aimed at curbing financial extravagances in the Premier League. He argued that such measures would hinder top clubs’ ability to compete with European giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona. “If you’ve got a government regulator at the end of the day, they will regulate and that won’t be good,” Ratcliffe observed.

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The Labour Party’s backing of the latest Football Governance Bill, which aims at ensuring financial stability and protecting fans at the heart of English football, is seen by Sir Jim Ratcliffe as a potential threat to the competitive advantage of Premier League clubs. He criticized the upcoming “anchoring” system, which ties spending to the revenue of lower clubs, as damaging to top clubs that need to compete at the highest level among Europe’s elites.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's message to the Premier League is to maintain its current path to ensure its top clubs remain competitive on the European stage for the biggest club competitions. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he advised. Manchester United is set to have a season under their manager, Erik ten Hag, and will look to address the shortcomings both on and off the field to return to the pinnacle of the glory that Manchester United deserves and aims to achieve.

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