The probable new part owner of Manchester United, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has taken a swipe at Bruno Fernandes in his recent book.
The billionaire’s first meeting with the club captain could well be a little awkward if Fernandes decides to read the publication.
The book is entitled “Introducing Grit, Rigour & Humour: The Ineos Story” was launched in July 2023 and celebrates the 25th anniversary of the mega-rich chemicals company. Interestingly the comments on Fernandes are set in the context of the British billionaire being seemingly on the cusp of sealing a deal for 25% of the club.
Ratcliffe’s firm is apparently only weeks away at the longest from eventually gaining sporting control of the club and due to the team’s numerous issues, will surely have its work cut out.
Interestingly for United fans, The Daily Mail notes that Ratcliffe compares the Portuguese player unfavourably to rugby players.
Talking about his experience in travels around the Pacific the INEOS owner claimed, “he felt the ground tremble every time a Cook Islander smashed into another in a local rugby match” and added that one player was “carted off in the back of a pick-up with a broken leg”.
The supposed lifelong United fan then somewhat unnecessarily noted it was “a far cry from Bruno Fernandes clutching his untouched face in the Liverpool debacle recently”.
Ratcliffe was clearly referencing the 7-0 annihilation in March of this year. It is poignant that United return to Anfield this Sunday and without their captain.
Fernandes carelessly, or not so depending on who you believe, picked up a yellow card which ruled him out of Sunday’s showdown.
The Portuguese international has faced his fair share of criticism recently and especially about his suitability for the captaincy role at the club.
The Peoples Person recently wrote about the yellow card against Bournemouth and commented on the ludicrousness of his “over-the-top complaints to the referee considering the game was well and truly lost at that stage”.
Nonetheless, current manager, Erik ten Hag, seems content with Bruno as captain and has recently claimed that the midfielder is an inspiration for his teammates.
Whether or not Fernandes is the right man to wear the captain’s armband, it does seem a careless statement for Ratcliffe to make in the context of his desire to buy the club, even if it is just a throwaway line in a book about his company.
United fans will hope it is not a taste of the drama to expect with an INEOS-led Man United. That is something all fans will want to move away from and pray such distractions are a distant memory from the Glazer full ownership era.