The Premier League has approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to purchase a 25% stake in Manchester United

Ratcliffe’s deal – worth around £1.03bn – to buy 25% of the club’s class B shares, almost all the voting rights, up to 25% of its class A shares and a £236m promise for future investment into the club’s Old Trafford stadium, was agreed on Christmas Eve. 

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the top-flight team said it had already been granted approval under its rules over who is allowed to be an owner or director of a football club.

However, the agreement needed to be confirmed by the Premier League, which has now been obtained.

In a statement, the league said: “The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion,” confirming Ratcliffe has also signed the owners’ charter, making the billionaire the first person to sign a deal under the league’s new updated owners’ and directors’ test, which was approved by clubs in March 2023. 

As part of the updated owners’ and director’s check, EPL clubs voted to introduce an independent panel. 

The Premier League added: “The board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel.”

Manchester United are still awaiting approval from the FA, with the club expecting confirmation in the coming weeks.

Since agreeing the deal on Christmas Eve, Ratcliffe has conducted a series of meetings with club staff and associates, meeting with leaders of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and with local leaders, including senior representatives of Trafford Council, and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

The sale has been well supported by fans of the club on social media, due to Ratcliffe’s actions being viewed by some as a welcome change to what Red Devils followers are used to. 

The Ineos owner showed his support by attending the Munich Air Disaster memorial last week and has also sparked a debate about renovating Old Trafford. 

Last month, the 71 year-old described his proposed investment as the most exciting deal he has ever done. 

The aforementioned filings also included proof of Ratcliffe’s personal wealth, which said his “liquid assets were in excess of $4bn” and his net worth was “significantly in excess of those liquid assets”.

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