British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to buy Manchester United.
News of the 69-year-old’s interest follows a Bloomberg report that the Glazer family is willing to sell a minority stake in the club.
“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” Ratcliffe’s spokesman said. The times.
“If something like this were possible, we’d be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.”
United, 20-time champions of England, sit bottom of the Premier League after losing their first two games of the season under new manager Erik ten Hag.
The dismal start has intensified criticism of the Glazers and their apparent lack of investment in the team.
No new signings have materialized this summer, including a fruitless search for Barcelona’s Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong, while superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Old Trafford.
The club have struggled since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and have not won a trophy since 2017.
There have been multiple protests against the Glazers’ ownership in recent years, including one in May 2021 that caused the Red Devils’ home league game against Liverpool to be postponed.
United fans are planning another protest against the American family during their final meeting with their Anfield rivals at Old Trafford on Monday.
Ratcliffe, born in Lancashire, majority shareholder of the chemical group Ineos, has been a fan of the club since childhood. He also owns French side Nice, Swiss club Lausanne-Sport and the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, while Ineos has a partnership with the Mercedes F1 team.
“This is not about money that was or was not spent,” the spokesperson added. “Jim is looking at what can be done now and knowing how important the club is to the city, it seems like the right time to restart.”
Earlier Wednesday, Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, he said he was joking after tweeting that he was going to buy United.
Musk, 51, is reported to have a net worth of $270bn (£223bn) according to Forbes, while Ratcliffe is worth an estimated $16.3bn (£13.5bn).
In May, Ratcliffe made an unsuccessful £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea after owner Roman Abramovich put the London club up for sale.
At the time, Ratcliffe told BBC Sport that he was still a Manchester United fan and the reason he didn’t bid for the Red Devils is because they weren’t for sale.