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Manchester United can be bought by Sir Jim Ratcliffe

by David O'Neill

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has the wealth to remove the Glazer family should he choose to.

As reported by The Times, the billionaire could easily meet the valuation of Manchester United which, according to the New York Stock Exchange, stands at around £1.8bn.

However, any takeover would require a substantial premium on that amount, with the Glazers likely to demand a price in line with the top share price of the club.

In August 2018, the share price was a record-high $26.20.

That would put the overall price of the club at around £4bn, were one to also include the debts saddled on the club.

Those debts stand at around £596m – around the same as it was after the Glazers completed their leveraged buyout in 2006.

That is despite around £855m being paid out by the club in interest payments.

While the £4bn asking price remains dwarfed by Ratcliffe’s overall wealth, much of that wealth is tied up in non-cash assets.

He would also be expected to pay a substantial amount towards the infrastructure of the club, which has largely been neglected under the Glazer ownership.

Old Trafford and Carrington are among United’s property assets to have fallen behind the equivalents of their rivals since 2006.

And while £1.5bn has been spent on player recruitment in that time, there must be a reason why such investment has been unsuccessful.

If United do not have the best training facilities and stadium in the country, is it any wonder they struggle to maximise the potential in their squad, compared to their rivals?

And that is before factoring in the mismanagement that has taken place under Glazer rule.

Few would argue that the money that has been spent has been done so with much forethought, and a lack of credentials in top footballing positions has often been cited as a major problem.

So while Sir Jim Ratcliffe certainly has the economic clout to become a Manchester United owner, he will need to consider if he also has the financial muscle and determination to restore the club in the aftermath.


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