Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to purchase a stake in Manchester United FC, according to reports from The Times and Bloomberg.
The British billionaire’s interest in the club follows reports that the Glazer family would consider selling a minority stake in the Premier League side. The family has owned the team since 2005.
A spokesperson for Ratcliffe told The Times: “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer. If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.
“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”
There have been reports of some ‘preliminary discussions’ about the possibility of bringing in a new investor. Ratcliffe currently owns French Ligue 1 football team, Nice, and has a net worth of £5.96bn.
It comes following intensified turbulence at Old Trafford, as Erik ten Hag’s side currently sits at the bottom of the league table after having lost their opening two games of the season, which were against Brighton and Brentford.
Furthermore, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) ‘cautiously welcomed’ interest from Lancashire-born Ratcliffe but said a takeover would need the support of fans.
A MUST statement, which was published on Twitter, said: “Speculation is mounting about a potential change of ownership or new investors at Manchester United. Whilst supporters have called for change, of course this has to be the right change.
“Any prospective new owner or investor has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club. They have to be willing to invest to restore United to former glories, and that investment must be real new money spent on the playing side and the stadium.”
Back in May, Ratcliffe made an offer of £4.25bn to buy Chelsea FC after the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, but his bid was unsuccessful.