Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford addressed Manchester United staff en masse at Old Trafford this week as they wait for the Premier League to ratify the INEOS founder’s £1.3billion investment. He isn’t yet officially in control of football operations, but Ratcliffe has already done something Joel Glazer hasn’t since his family’s 2005 takeover.
The Athletic have shared key details from the 71-year-old tycoon’s meeting with “invigorated” staff members.
And six things Ratcliffe promised will offer genuine optimism that his impending shake-up will finally stop the rot under the Glazer regime.
Sporting success over commercial success
Ratcliffe reportedly insisted that he didn’t care about making a return on the inflated price he paid to get a foot in the door at the club he has supported since growing up in Failsworth, a nearby town.
While acknowledging United’s commercial power, which the Glazers will continue to control under the new structure, he has made it clear that he is in this for the glory.
INEOS will measure success by silverware, not revenue. That in itself is said to have come across as a liberating message among staff.
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Leaving former standards in the mud
In September, former chief executive Richard Arnold told staff that United were closing the gap on Manchester City despite watching their rivals match their treble success just months before.
Ratcliffe’s mentality couldn’t be more different. He reportedly drew applause from those in attendance for the honest, straight-talking nature of his assessment of the club’s failures in recent times.
The British billionaire stated his determination to get to the bottom of United’s lacklustre output despite boasting bigger budgets than thriving European heavyweights.
Staff were claimed to be impressed by the way Ratcliffe applied pressure to perform but at the same time encouraged them to be a part of that change.
Infrastructure improvements are imminent
This was in the public domain already, but Ratcliffe confirmed that he plans to make major improvements to Old Trafford and the club’s Carrington training complex.
He reportedly said that his initial £237m investment into United’s infrastructure, which will be converted into equity, is just the start of his financial backing.
INEOS will be present in M16
One of the Glazer family’s primary criticisms has been their lack of effort to be present figures around the club.
Most of their communication is done over video calls from the United States – mainly New York, Washington DC and Tampa.
Ratcliffe and Brailsford pledged to be present at the club during the INEOS era, alongside Jean-Claude Blanc and Rob Nevin, who join the latter in having seats on the board.
It’s just the beginning
INEOS’ communication will remain limited until they officially take control at United when the Premier League passes the £1.3bn deal.
And Ratcliffe reportedly mentioned that he and Brailsford would go into further detail about their plans and aims when that time comes.
There is a lot for supporters and staff to be excited about at Old Trafford.