Ratcliffe to begin Man United rebuild as investment completed - ESPN
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Ratcliffe to begin Man United rebuild as investment completed

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Ogden: Man United 'desperate' for a change in direction (1:57)

Mark Ogden says Jim Ratcliffe's arrival at Old Trafford is a popular one, but he'll quickly have some tough decisions to make. (1:57)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has formally completed a deal to acquire a minority stake in Manchester United, the club announced Tuesday.

The British billionaire, 71, has bought 25% of the Premier League club in a deal worth £1.03 billion ($1.3bn).

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Shares issued in return for Ratcliffe's initial investment of £158.47 million ($200m) will take his total shareholding to 27.7%. A further £79.23m ($100m) will be invested by Dec. 31, increasing Ratcliffe's stake to 28.9%.

"To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility," Ratcliffe said in a news release. "This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans.

"Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today."

The agreement, which was announced on Christmas Eve, received the green light from the Premier League and the Football Association last week.

The final issues have now been tied up, meaning Ratcliffe and his team, led by INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, are free to officially start work at Old Trafford.

Despite the Glazer family remaining as the club's majority owner, the deal will see Ratcliffe and Brailsford take charge of football operations.

"I would like to welcome Sir Jim as co-owner and look forward to working closely with him and INEOS Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United," Joel Glazer, Man United executive co-chairman, said.

Omar Berrada has already been poached from rivals Manchester City to take up the role of CEO in the summer while the club have formally approached Newcastle about hiring Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director.

Sources have told ESPN that United are also interested in including Southampton's Jason Wilcox, who spent time with Berrada at City, in a revamped recruitment department.

Ratcliffe's deal brings to an end an ownership saga at United which began in November 2022 when the Glazer family announced they were considering "strategic alternatives."

Ratcliffe, owner and CEO of chemical company INEOS, and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani both submitted bids for majority ownership of the club before the Glazers settled on accepting Ratcliffe's minority offer.