Nice captain Dante hits out at Sir Jim Ratcliffe's running of the club

Be warned Man United! Captain of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Nice hits out at the British billionaire’s running of the French club, telling him to ‘speak less and work in silence’ after another underwhelming year

  • Ratcliffe’s INEOS is currently bidding to take control of Manchester United
  • The British billionaire owns French club Nice, who have struggled this season
  • Captain Dante recently hit out at the club’s hierarchy, urging them to ‘speak less’ 

Nice captain Dante has offered a warning to Manchester United after publicly criticising the hierarchy at the club, which is owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The British billionaire, whose company INEOS took over Nice since 2019, is currently bidding alongside Sheikh Jassim of Qatar for control of Man United, with Ratcliffe believed to be in the driving seat.

His arrival would likely be welcomed by many Red Devils fans after years of dissatisfaction with the current owners, but the Eaglets’ current position under Ratcliffe may provide something of a cautionary tale.

They have gone through five managers in four seasons, and currently sit ninth in Ligue 1 after a turbulent campaign.

Club captain Dante has now hit out at the lack of coherence from Ratcliffe and the hierachy at Nice, as he told L’Equipe: ‘I think at some point you have to be clear in what you’re saying.

Nice captain Dante has publicly criticised the hierarchy at Nice, which is owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS

The British billionaire is currently bidding to take control of English giants Manchester United

‘To maintain a project, maybe you need to speak less about objectives and work in silence to create an environment of competitors. Because the expectation is even bigger, and then after, people are frustrated.

‘The best thing to do is to prepare as quickly as possible for next season in order to start it well.’

Ratcliffe aimed to turn Nice into a side that could challenge Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance in France, but that has not been the case so far.

Lucien Favre brought in a number of big-name players at the start of the season including Aaron Ramsey, Kasper Schmeichel and Ross Barkley, but the manager was sacked in January after Nice were knocked out of the Coupe de France by a third-division side.

‘Do you remember how many players came in at the end of the transfer window last summer?’ Dante continued.  ‘Six left, six arrived. It’s difficult in these conditions. Simply, we mustn’t make the same errors.’

‘If someone wants my opinion, the earlier we organise ourselves, the better it will be. If we want to aim higher, we have to anticipate things and put the values of the organisation in place.

‘When the coach [Lucien Favre] arrived, we said in two years that we would always be in the Champions League. It doesn’t work like that. Ligue 1 is very difficult.

Ratcliffe is said to be in the driving seat but has competition from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim (right)

Nice have struggled under the Brit’s ownership this season and are sitting ninth in Ligue 1

‘We lost 10 players, 10 arrived. The teams in the semi-finals of big competitions play together for three, four years. We changed everything last summer. There is a lack of coherence somewhere. I am sorry to say that.’

The apparent lack of strategy at Nice may be a worry for United fans who hoped that a takeover may put right their poor transfer record in recent years.

A bigger concern may be the drawn-out nature of the sale which has now taken almost five months without a clear endpoint appearing.

Ratcliffe’s offer is understood to be close to £6bn as he will buy out four Glazer siblings – Brian, Edward, Darcie and Kevin – while leaving Joel and Avram with a 20 per cent stake that will keep them involved for up to four more years.

The Qatari offer is believed to be around £1bn lower, and seeks full control of the club.

Current owners Joel and Avram Glazer have been criticised for the slow speed of United’s sale

Despite uncertainty off the pitch, Manchester United could still end the season with two trophies and a Champions League spot

While the Glazers may prefer the deal that keeps them involved, Ratcliffe does risk alienating fans hoping for a clean break with unpopular owners.

Aside from their off-pitch dealings, Untied still have an opportunity to finish the season well as they look to secure Champions League qualification and land a second trophy of the season.

They currently sit three points clear of fifth place Liverpool with a game in hand, and will face Manchester City in the FA Cup final next month.

Erik ten Hag’s side will next be in action against struggling Chelsea on Thursday, before facing Fulham at Old Trafford on the final day of the Premier League season.

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