Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group and the Glazer family have a legal agreement to not publicly criticise each other.
This is according to a 241-page document submitted to the New York Stock Exchange on Boxing Day after Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Trawlers Limited company had officially completed its 25% takeover of Manchester United.
The Times has reported that the two parties will have to keep silent about any disagreement between the two parties.
The exact text in the document states that Trawlers Limited — has agreed not to make public statements that “constitute an ad hominem attack on, criticise, or otherwise disparage, the sellers [The Glazers], the company [United] or their respective affiliates”.
Furthermore, “the document, submitted to the New York Stock Exchange, laid out the same conditions for the Glazer family, telling them that they must refrain from any public criticism of their new investor too”.
United fans and the footballing world in general will be fascinated to see how the two power groups can manage to work together.
It is obvious that INEOS will want to change much of how the Glazers have run the club in recent years but they will need to be pragmatic and politically correct, at least in the public sphere, in their assessment of what has come before them.
In theory, Ratcliffe will have total control of the sporting side, whereas the Glazers will focus on the commercial side of the club. However, many fans will be excused for taking the American family’s words with a pinch of salt.
Moreover, it has been relayed by The Peoples Person that INEOS will have to be consulted on any transfer or managerial change made even before they have their deal ratified by the Premier League.
Consequently, this policy may be tested even earlier than expected.
It is not just the two owning parties that will be required to keep their opinions to themselves.
In an email sent to staff, Joel and Avram Glazer warned staff that they could not even tell their loved ones about the takeover.
“In addition, if you are asked about this transaction by friends or family, you may refer to the information that is publicly available on the Manchester United website. But please do not make any speculative comments or insert your own opinions or beliefs regarding the transaction”.
It will be yet another intriguing plotline to follow, especially if areas of contention between the two owners of the Old Trafford club begin to raise their heads over the coming months.