New partial owner of Manchester United, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has spoken to the BBC, following the completion of the sale.

The 71-year-old billionaire has bought a 27.7% stake in the Premier League club and sat down with the BBC to discuss his thoughts on what has been going wrong as well as what he believes needs to be done to see the giant return to its former glory.

In the interview, Ratcliffe emphasised that his £1.25bn investment into Manchester United represents more than a financial endeavour as he is committed to restoring the club to its rightful position among football’s elite. 

Ratcliffe explained: “It’s ruled by the heart. This is not a financial investment for me. If I wanted to make a financial investment, I would buy another chemical company. It’s very much taking on one of the great challenges in the world. It is a very worthy challenge and very exciting.

“The only reason I got involved is because I want to see Manchester United restored to where it should be. I might be biassed but I believe it is the biggest and most well-known club in the world. It should be playing the greatest football in the world.”

This strong passion to revitalise the club stems from the fact that the new partial owner has been a lifelong fan of the club since his childhood.

“I was at primary school in north Manchester and in my class half were pale blue and the other half were red. My family were a red family, my mother and father were always Manchester United fans, and my only regret is my parents aren’t here today,” said Ratcliffe.

“I automatically became a Manchester United supporter from the age of six or seven. It’s an important element of your life, and hugely important to all those who support Manchester United.”

However, his new venture is not going to be an easy task. The last 11 years since the club’s greatest manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired have been a constant struggle, which has seen several coaches with outstanding legacies try and ultimately fail to replicate Ferguson’s success, which the fans are so desperate to relive. 

Ratcliffe shared his thoughts on the period: “It has clearly been a difficult 11 years since Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill retired. It’s not switching a light switch. It’s not just a simple short-term fix. We have to walk to the right solution, not run to the wrong one.

“The short-term issue is we want to get into the Champions League. It’s a two-to-three-season challenge to get the organisation and environment right, to get the performances on the field right and win football matches. That involves the design and structure of the organisation being correct.

“In the last 11 years, Manchester United have had a lot of coaches and nobody has been very successful in that environment. That says to me there is something wrong with the environment. It is not constructive for me to blame anyone, it’s just a fact. My focus is on how I change that environment to get the best out of the coach and squad.”

Although Supporters of the Red Devils have welcomed Ratcliffe’s investment with open arms, there is still a humongous elephant in the room. The Glazer family – long-term owners of Manchester United that have taken dividends out of the club despite never injecting it with any investment from their own pockets. 

Fans’ distaste for the Glazers represents a huge hurdle for the Ineos owner to clear and also work alongside, in which it remains to be seen how the two sets of owners will work together.

“”I only know Joel and Avram and they are, despite what you might read in the press, very nice people, very courteous and they are avid supporters of Manchester United. I understand the frustrations and the anger [of supporters] but I am looking forward not backward,” said Ratcliffe.

“Try to be patient and we’ll try to build Manchester United back to where it should be, which is as one of the very elite clubs in the world. The key to it working is the relationship we will have with Joel and Avram, which in my view is a very good and trusting relationship.”

Looking forward, the new owner has some difficult decisions to make, with potentially the decision over Mason Greenwood’s future the largest at present, following the player leaving the club by mutual agreement in August and joining Spanish club Getafe on loan after a six-month internal investigation into his conduct.

Ratcliffe commented: “We need to look at facts, judge fairly and take into consideration what the values of the club are. Then we come out of that with a decision. It is not appropriate for me to comment on Mason Greenwood.”

The interview concluded with the owner discussing his main goal of catching the clubs main rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, with United currently 12 and 16 points behind the pair at the moment.

Ratcliffe concluded: “In the north west we have two neighbours who are really impressive football clubs. I want to knock them all off their perch. We are friends in the sense we’re all in the north west but they are our biggest enemies. They are clearly our biggest competitors in the UK.

“[We are] a long way behind. It’s not going to change tomorrow. People unfortunately need to give us time to get back. It will be two to three seasons. Patience is needed. Spending money lavishly in the summer is not the solution, it is much more complicated than that.”

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