British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is said to be 'serious' about buying Manchester United should the club be put up for sale – and he has plenty of funds to make that a reality.
The chemical engineer and businessman, who is the CEO of Ineos, is a supporter of the Red Devils despite being a season-ticker holder at Chelsea – and is already the owner of FC Lausanne-Sport and Ligue 1 outfit Nice.
Ratcliffe's reported net worth of £10.9billion would put him in the top five of Premier League owners according to estimated combined net worth of ownership groups – and the growing pressure on the Glazers might work in his favour.
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Ratcliffe's fortune would put him two places above Arsenal's Stan Kroenke of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment who has an estimated £8.9bn.
In fourth in the Premier League are Wesley Edens and Nassef Sawiris of Aston Villa with an estimated £10.75bn.
There is a new arrival in third – Chelsea's group of Clearlake Capital Group, Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter. They have an estimated net worth of £11.25bn – one place above where Ratcliffe would fit in.
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The top two on the list will come as no surprise to Premier League fans, with Manchester City in second thanks to the Abu Dhabi United Group's 78%, Silver Lake's 10% and China Media Capital and CITIC Group's 12% totalling funds of around £18bn.
Out on top by a huge margin at Newcastle United who are owned 80% by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and 10% each by RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners.
Their net worth combined is estimated to be in the region of £483bn – making them the richest club in the league and one of the richest on the planet.
With The Times reporting of Ratcliffe's interest in United alongside Sir Dave Brailsford, his spokesperson has said: "If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.
"If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.
"This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset."
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