Sir Jim Ratcliffe will be in attendance at Old Trafford for the first time since agreeing a £1.3billion investment in Manchester United for Sunday’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur, according to reports. The 71-year-old has vowed to be regularly present after purchasing a 25 per cent stake in the club he has supported his entire life.
Ratcliffe has inherited total sporting control from the Glazer family, who have notoriously shied away from in-person support since their 2005 buyout.
Avram Glazer attended last season’s Carabao Cup final and both men’s and women’s FA Cup finals at Wembley Stadium. But he may as well be a ghost in the corridors of Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Joel Glazer hasn’t watched a match in the flesh since visiting M16 for the Champions League quarter-final defeat against Barcelona in April 2019.
Ratcliffe is awaiting the Premier League to ratify his investment – likely to happen in February – before officially entering power at United.
But INEOS figure Sir Dave Brailsford has watched all three games since the Christmas Eve announcement.
Jean Claude-Blanc, expected to become United’s chief executive, was spotted alongside Brailsford, interim CEO Patrick Stewart and David Gill at Monday’s FA Cup clash against Wigan Athletic.
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The INEOS founder was in Manchester last week for meetings at Old Trafford and United’s Carrington training base.
He plans to be a significantly more regular presence around the club than the unpopular Glazers and is set to show his face in the directors’ box when Ange Postecoglou’s side visit this weekend.
Ratcliffe has met key figures at United, including Erik ten Hag and his coaching staff and playing squad, at the start of a long-term passion project to drag his beloved club back among the elite of world football.