Ratcliffe: United deal to be ratified next month

Sir Jim Ratcliffe expects the Premier League to ratify his move to take charge of Manchester United’s football operations by “mid-February” as he spoke for the first time about his investment in the club ahead of Sunday’s game against Tottenham.

Ratcliffe, 71, agreed to buy 25% of United from their American owners the Glazer family for £1.3 billion, after lengthy negotiations finally concluded with an announcement on Christmas Eve.

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The INEOS founder, who also owns French team Nice and Swiss side Lausanne, will form a three-person board alongside Joel Glazer and INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford when his investment is signed off by the Premier League.

Speaking to reporters at Old Trafford, Ratcliffe said that the deal will not be signed off before the end of the January transfer window.

“Early to mid-Feb,” Ratcliffe said when asked when he expected the deal to be ratified.

“Hopefully we don’t find anything dodgy on my CV!

“This is the first match for me since we got here. I am very excited to be here, but I can’t answer any questions really.”

When asked how long he has wanted to be involved with United, Ratcliffe said: “A few years. It has taken a few turns as you know but these things take some doing.

“When did I first come to a game? When I was a kid. Quite young. Ten or something, it is 60 years ago.”

Ratcliffe was born in Failsworth, a Manchester suburb, and grew up as a United supporter before becoming Britain’s richest man through his INEOS petrochemicals company.

He said his favourite players date back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s first great team in the 1990s.

“[Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs — Eric (Cantona) probably,” he said. “I can’t come all the time [to games] because I have some other things. But I will come.”

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