Everton v Man Utd: Pictures
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Manchester United could have been taken over by Sir Jim Ratcliffe this summer, but the Glazer family didn’t want to sell-up. Ratcliffe, who was in the running to buy Chelsea earlier this year after Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich had put the club on the market after he was sanctioned in the wake of his country’s attack on Ukraine, has supported the Red Devils all his life.
“I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan,” the 69-year-old told the Financial Times on Tuesday night. “I was there in that most remarkable match in 99 in Barcelona. That is deeply etched in my mind. Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family. I have met Joel and Avram. They are the nicest people, I have to say, proper gentlemen.
“They don’t want to sell it (the club). It’s owned by the six children of the father. If it had been for sale in the summer, yes we would probably have had a go following on from the Chelsea thing. But we can’t sit around hoping one day Manchester United will become available.
“So what will happen now? We have a sports franchise. We own a third of Mercedes’ Formula One team. Robbed last year. The one thing we don’t have… Football is the most popular sport in the world. We should have a premier club.”
The Glazer family took United over in 2005 but have come under fire from large sections of the club’s fans in recent years, with the club struggling to compete for silverware. And Ratcliffe admitted the Red Devils have underperformed on the pitch ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
“Might I run it differently?” he added. “Or might I run it? I think the answer about performance of Manchester United is a simple one. The biggest correlation of success in football is money – without question. It’s not the only one because you have outliers like Brighton.
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“But the biggest one by far is – if you’ve got the highest revenues you can afford the best players, you play the best football. Manchester United is one of those. It was one of those top three clubs. The two in Spain, [Real] Madrid and Barca, then Manchester United. They all earned revenues of about £800million.
“A few more have joined that club now of course. You’ve got Bayern Munich, you’ve got PSG. You’ve got, I can hardly say it, Manchester City. And Liverpool. But Manchester United are not playing in that league of those other teams at the moment. And they haven’t done really since Sir Alex stepped down. So something is not… they are not firing on all cylinders. That would be my point on performance.”
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