Sir Jim Ratcliffe has proposed a takeover deal for Manchester United that would see current owners Avram and Joel Glazer remain as stakeholders.
Ratcliffe is one of the leading candidates to takeover Manchester United ahead of Friday’s 10pm deadline for third and final bids.
The 70-year-old – owner of petrochemicals company Ineos and regarded as Britain’s richest man – has been among the most public suitors to takeover at Old Trafford and is understood to be proposing a final bid that would allow the club’s current owners to retain a stake.
According to the Times, Ratcliffe’s offer would see him purchase a controlling stake of just over 50%, with 20% remaining in the hands of Avram and Joel Glazer and the remaining stakes with various investment groups.
The prospect of the Glazers remaining at the Red Devils in some capacity will concern the club’s fanbase, who have spent much of the past two decades protesting against the regime of the Americans. The Glazers have been hugely unpopular since their arrival at United in 2005, when a heavily-leveraged takeover saddled the club with huge debts.
However, it could prove significant in Ratcliffe winning the race to takeover, with the lead competition – from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani – desiring a 100% stake in the club.
Sheikh Jassim has ‘no interest’ in a partial stake according to the Daily Mail, while the proposal from Qatar is viewed as the one with the ‘deepest pockets’. A decision is expected in the coming days with the hope the process can be completed before the transfer window opens in June.