After a turbulent start to the season, clarity over the ownership of Manchester United has still failed to come to fruition, much to the frustration of the club’s fans.
According to reports, it has now been reported that Sir Jim Ratcliffe could be eyeing a minority stake in the club, as he aims to close the curtains on the arduous process.
Sky News reported that Ratcliffe’s proposals would see him purchase stakes from both the Glazer family and the stock of the club that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s a move, however, that is unlikely to appease fans who have long campaigned for a complete removal of the club’s current ownership and a full takeover.
In a further dampening of spirits amongst the United fanbase, any shares that Ratcliffe purchases from the NYSE would be 10 times less powerful than the Class B shares that the Glazer family own.
Should Ratcliffe purchase any shares from a member of the Glazer family, those Class B shares would immediately become Class A shares that come with less voting power. This means Ratcliffe could theoretically purchase around 25% of shares in Manchester United but only control around 6% of the voting power.
A statement from the Manchester United Supporter’s Trust (MUST) at the start of the season described the Glazer family as taking the club and its supporters hostage.
MUST said: “As time goes on this feels less like a sale process and more like the Glazer family is holding Manchester United and its fans hostage.
“The united message of fans is clear – sell the club. And if they do not intend to do so, at least have the courage to say that and explain what the charade of the last nine months has been about.
“On the pitch, there is clear progress at United and the whole fan base is behind Erik and the team.”
The group added that the situation and discontent is only likely to escalate given the season is underway, especially given Manchester United’s poor start.
It comes as there has also been reports that Sheikh Jassim, which would see the Qatari take outright ownership of the club from the Glazer family. Having laid out significant investment plans both on and off the pitch, Jassim has emphasised that his bid is ‘the best solution for the club, fans and local community’.