As per multiple reports, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, a long-standing Manchester United fan, is interested in buying the club if the owners, the American Glazer family, are willing to sell.
This is the second time in few months when Ratcliffe, head of chemical company INEOS, had shown interest in buying a Premier League club. He had previously wanted to purchase Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
In May 2022, Chelsea Football Club was sold to a consortium led by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital for $3.2 billion (2.5 billion pounds).
“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” a spokesperson for Ratcliffe told the Times. “If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.”
The club’s owners, the American Glazer family, are under pressure with United sitting bottom of the Premier League after two games of the season.
Bloomberg reported they would consider selling a minority stake, opening the door for Ratcliffe.
It is unclear if the interest would result in any deals. The Glazer family is not ready to concede the controlling stake in Manchester United and has an expectation of valuing the club at more than double its current market cap of $2.2 billion, another source said.
The Glazers have been the target of intense criticism for their failure to invest in the team who have not won a trophy in five years. United’s net debt had grown 11% to about 496 million pounds ($598 million) by the end of March.
The owners have also been criticised for not improving the Old Trafford stadium, the biggest club ground in the country with a capacity of around 75,000 fans.
United finished sixth last season in their worst Premier League campaign with respect to points earned, failing to qualify for the lucrative European Champions League.
They won the last of their record 20 top-flight league titles in 2013, the year Alex Ferguson stepped down as manager after more than 26 years in charge.
The club hired manager Erik ten Hag from Ajax Amsterdam in a bid to turn around their fortunes but the Dutchman has not yet succeeded in imposing his playing style, with United losing their opening two games after conceding six goals.
United play their arch-rivals Liverpool, who scored nine times without reply in their two league meetings last season, at Old Trafford on Monday.