Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority takeover of Manchester United is inching closer to completion after the Premier League granted their approval to the deal.
Ratcliffe extended the deadline of his offer until the end of this week to allow enough time for the final checks into the agreement to be conducted, and the Premier League are now satisfied with his proposal.
As first revealed by the Telegraph, Ratcliffe’s purchase has now moved to the final stage, with the Football Association expected to give their seal of approval in the coming days.
“Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25% of Manchester United FC, and further investment of $300m in the club, has been approved by the Premier League Board following the completion of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT),” a Premier League statement read.
“The Board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel. The Premier League’s Owners’ Charter has also been signed.
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“This is the first acquisition of Control to be reviewed and approved by a new Independent Oversight Panel following changes to the process which were agreed by Premier League clubs in March 2023.
“The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion.”
The Glazer family, who currently own United, put the club up for sale in November 2022 and the process finally appears close to a conclusion, having navigated several bidding stages and a financial battle between Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim of Qatar.
As part of Ratcliffe’s deal, he will assume control of United’s footballing operations, but the Glazers have also agreed to give Ratcliffe more of an influence in dealings away from the pitch.
Among Ratcliffe’s plans for the club are the improvement of United’s stadium. The INEOS chief wants the club to be playing in the ‘Wembley of the North‘ and is exploring the options concerning Old Trafford – demolishing the stadium and starting from scratch is not yet off the table.