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Sir Jim Ratcliffe makes Sheikh Jassim jibe after winning race to buy Man Utd


Sir Jim Ratcliffe has taken a swipe at a former rival Sheikh Jassim after winning the race to secure a stake in Manchester United.

The 71-year-old, now a co-owner at Old Trafford, completed the purchase of a 27.7 percent stake and secured control of football operations to his company Ineos this week.

Speaking about the former rival bidder for a minority stake in Manchester United, Ratcliffe joked: “Still nobody’s ever seen him, actually.

“The Glazers never met him. He never… I’m not sure he exists!”

Ratcliffe also admits United have a lot to learn from their “noisy neighbours” Manchester City and Liverpool but is determined to “knock both of them off their perch” within three years as he set out his vision to rebuild the Red Devils.

He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware but called on United fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

“We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has set his sights on beating ‘enemies’ Manchester City and Liverpool

(PA Wire)

“There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

“They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

“I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

“You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

“It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

PA contributed to this report



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