Nice owner Ratcliffe confirms interest in Manchester United takeover

The owner of OGC Nice Jim Ratcliffe has tried to advance his pawns for the takeover of Manchester United. But the Glazer family, who have owned the club since 2005, told him it was « not for sale ».

After failing to afford Chelsea in May, English billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, owner of OGC Nice and petrochemical giant Ineos, suffered a second failure in England. After getting wind of news that Manchester United wanted to open up its capital to a minority shareholder, Ratcliffe jumped at the chance to approach the Glazer family, who have owned the club for over a decade (2005).

« It is owned by the father’s six children (editor’s note, Malcolm Glazer, who died in 2009) and they don’t want to sell, » Jim Ratcliffe told the Financial Times during a conference the daily was organizing.

Originally a United fan

« I met Joel and Avram (ed., two of the five sons, the managers most involved in the life of the club as co-presidents) and they are the nicest people. They are real gentlemen. If the club had been on sale in the summer, yes, we probably would have taken a chance after the Chelsea deal. But we can’t just sit around hoping that one day Manchester United will be available. »

Jim Ratcliffe has no intention of waiting indefinitely for an opening to present itself, but he hasn’t given up on investing in English football either, and should therefore continue to prospect. Already the owner of Nice and Lausanne Sport, a major player in sailing, cycling and Formula 1, Jim Ratcliffe wants his sports empire to have a new major asset in the Premier League.

In an interview with BBC Sport after his takeover bid for Chelsea was rejected, Ratcliffe said he was originally a United fan and had « divided his loyalty » between the two clubs, Manchester and Chelsea. His personal fortune is estimated at £6.075 billion by The Times.

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