British billionaire and Mallorcan home owner Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying Manchester Unite. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Britain´s richest man and Mallorca home owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is pondering a bid for Manchester United football club.

Ratcliffe is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group, which he founded in 1998 and of which he still owns two-thirds, and which has been estimated to have a turnover of $15 billion in 2019. He does not have a high public profile, and has been described by The Sunday Times as "publicity shy". As of May 2018, he was the richest person in the UK, with a net worth of £21.05 billion.

Little is known about his Mallorcan home, not even its exact location. When talking of Ratcliffe’s takeover of Team Sky, cycling legend Bradley Wiggins revealed he owns a home in Mallorca. ‘I’m aware of this guy but I’ve never met him,’ Wiggins told Eurosport. ‘He’s got a house in Mallorca and he’s really into cycling, rides his bike, so I would imagine this is someone who loves cycling.’

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.

A source close to Ratcliffe said the billionaire was a potential buyer as he wants to help rebuild the team. The Times first reported Ratcliffe's interest on Wednesday.

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.

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).

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.
Ratcliffe, head of chemical company INEOS, is from the Manchester area and a long-standing United fan.

Ratcliffe failed this year in an attempt to buy London club Chelsea which was ultimately bought by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
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.