INEOS must be informed of every footballing decision made even while their deal to take over 25% of the club is being ratified.
The Times report that INEOS need to be consulted on any decision to sign a player or any hypothetical sacking of John Murtough or Erik ten Hag.
While the club was in the process of completing a miracle comeback versus Aston Villa on Boxing day “in front of Sir Dave Brailsford, INEOS’ director of sport, further details emerged about the company’s proposed 25 per cent investment in United”.
“Shortly after United’s win, the New York Stock Exchange published details of INEOS’ proposed investment in United in a 241-page document“.
It revealed that “Sir Jim Ratcliffe, will have to be consulted on any major sporting decision taken by the club during the ratification process, which is expected to take four to six weeks — a period which includes the January transfer window”.
According to the document, INEOS must also be told if United consider “appointing, dismissing or accepting the resignation of any director of football or first team manager of the company and/or any of its subsidiaries”.
This will come as a positive sign to many fans who would have feared that Sir Jim Ratcliffe would be powerless to stand up to the Glazers until any takeover deal was ratified.
The document also explicitly states that the chemicals company will still be involved in the rapidly approaching winter market as the Stock Exchange document states that the billionaire’s company must be kept up to date about any “entering into, or continuing any existing, discussions or negotiations relating to the purchase, sale or other transfer… of any player.”
The Telegraph go into more specific detail about what this could mean at United. The piece argues that no decision can be made on Jadon Sancho’s future for example, unless it is first run by INEOS.
Another popular statement to be found in the lengthy document is that “no dividends will be paid for at least three years with investment in the first team squad and Old Trafford prioritised”.
The Glazers have paid out more than £150 million in dividends since they took ownership of the club back in 2005. The American family have agreed to prioritise reinvestment of these funds into infrastructure and the team. This will be seen as a success right off the bat for Ratcliffe and good PR that he will not be bullied by the Floridian family.
Ratcliffe is providing an additional £237 million to invest in Old Trafford, however, The Peoples Person relayed yesterday that the chief architect of the club’s stadium redevelopment plan has said that the best option is to knock down and rebuild the stadium for £2bn.
Interestingly, buried in the huge document it is stated that, “although Ratcliffe will have first refusal for a period of 12 months should the Glazers opt to sell more B shares – which have 10 times the voting rights of Class A shares – the Americans could compel the Ineos chairman to agree to an outright sell down the line. ‘Drag-along’ rights included in the deal mean Ratcliffe would be obliged to sell his shares subject to him receiving a $33 (£26) per share cash offer from the Glazers should they decide on a full sale 18 months from now”.
It is difficult to interpret what this could mean down the line. On the one hand, it highlights the Glazers could be open to a full sale but on the other hand it could mean that said sale might not be to INEOS.
However, the rapid publication of this document, coupled with Ratcliffe’s statement to the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), shows that there seems to be much more communication and transparency already, than we ever saw under the Glazers.