Manchester United News

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's revelation about Sheikh Jassim that shocked everyone

Manchester United's new owner spoke about his main competitor in the takeover battle.

By Angus Barnes

What did he say?
What did he say?
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Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed the purchase of the 27.7 per cent of Manchester United for £1.03billion a few days ago, allowing him to take control of football-related decisions. From now on, he and his assistants will have the ability to make the changes they believe necessary to return the club to being one of the strongest in England and compete for the Premier League and Champions League titles.

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However, the story could have been very different if the outcome of the takeover battle had been different. The CEO of INEOS chemicals group was not the only billionaire interested in taking over the sporting side of The Red Devils, but he was competing with Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani. The Sheikh is a member of the Al Thani family, which for decades has played a leading role in Qatar's politics and economy.

For months Jassim was interested in buying Manchester United, with the aim of developing there a project similar to that of Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain. And even in June the newspaper Al Watan, owned by his father, reported that the public offer for the acquisition of the club had been successful and that the deal would be announced shortly. That ultimately did not happen and the outcome was very different.

This week Jim Ratcliffe gave his first interview as the new owner of the side and, when asked about Sheikh Jassim, he surprised everyone. "Still nobody's ever seen him, actually," he began. Then he added: "The Glazers never met him. He never... I'm not sure he exists". This is obviously a joke, since Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani really exists.

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Now he has a big challenge

After winning the takeover battle, Sir Jim Ratcliffe will face an even bigger challenge: to fulfill his promises and bring glory back to Manchester United. To do so, he will have to improve the squad by recruiting top players who are up to the club's standards. In addition, he intends to build a new stadium, as he believes Old Trafford has become "tired" and it needs "refurbishment".

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