Jim Ratcliffe has already squashed three major concerns over £1.4bn Man Utd deal

Jim Ratcliffe's potential Man Utd investment assessed | Football Digest

After almost a year of being sold a dream by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, there is some resistance to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s potential takeover among the Manchester United fanbase. The INEOS CEO is set to complete a £1.4billion deal with the Glazer family for 25 per cent of the club, the likely first step to an eventual full takeover.

Sir Jim – who also owns FC Lausanne-Sport and OGC Nice – has already proven the backing he is prepared to provide his childhood club.

Express Sport pinpoints three signs that the 71-year-old billionaire beating Sheikh Jassim to the post isn’t the disaster some may believe it to be.

Investment in playing staff

Sir Jim entered control of Nice in 2019, splurging a net spend of around £113m since, eclipsed only by Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille.

It represents a staggering £158m swing, given in the five years prior to INEOS’ arrival, Nice had made a profit of £45m on transfers.

The financial backing has paid off four years after Sir Jim entered the helm. Nice are the only unbeaten Ligue 1 club after nine games, sitting one point behind AS Monaco in second.

Francesco Farioli looks like an inspired managerial appointment. His side currently boasts the best defence in Europe’s top five leagues, keeping six clean sheets and conceding just four goals.

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Investment in club infrastructure

Sheikh Jassim vowed to inject significant funds to redevelop Old Trafford, United’s Carrington training ground, the club’s wider infrastructure and the local community.

His withdrawal has sparked fears that the much-needed investment won’t come. But Sir Jim has been proactive in sanctioning upgrades at Nice.

The Failsworth-born businessman has overseen a £13.5m investment into the French club’s modern training complex, which opened in the summer of 2020.

He is said to have funds set aside – on top of the £1.4bn he is paying for a minority stake – to go towards upgrades the Glazer family have ignored for 18 years.

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Erik ten Hag freedom

Erik ten Hag remains a popular figure at United despite the the club’s difficult start to his second season as manager.

And a potential new influence at the helm of the sporting department will always raise questions over where his future lies.

However, former Nice manager Patrick Viera has previously claimed that Sir Jim never interfered with his work, suggesting that Ten Hag will retain significant control over his project.

The Dutchman may have less of a final say over recruitment if a new sporting director arrives. But he will firmly remain as the face of the rebuild in M16.

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