Erik ten Hag need only look at Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover of Ligue 1 side Nice to see whether the British billionaire will look to make changes in the dugout if he’s successful with his bid for 25 per cent of Manchester United. United’s long takeover saga appears to be coming to an end after Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani officially withdrew from the race last week.
The Glazers had set an asking price deemed too high by the Qatari group while Ratcliffe changed his bid for majority control to a 25 per cent stake. Ratcliffe’s new bid worth £1.4billion was closer to the kind of valuation the Glazers were looking for.
United’s board are now set to meet on Thursday to vote on Ratcliffe’s bid for 25 per cent of the club. While the Glazers will maintain majority control, part of the proposed agreement is for Ratcliffe’s INEOS group to run the club’s football operations.
That will see the British billionaire tasked with overseeing Ten Hag’s squad with big changes likely to be made. However, the United boss can potentially rest easy as Ratcliffe has a track record of taking a slower approach to bringing about big changes.
INEOS bought OGC Nice back in August 2019 with Patrick Vieira already at the helm. The Arsenal icon stayed in charge of the club for the 2019/20 season under INEOS’ guideship and helped the French outfit to a fifth-place finish.
But Vieira’s reign eventually came to an end 16 months after INEOS took over the club as the Frenchman was sacked in December 2020. They’ve been far more trigger-happy since firing Vieira though with Francesco Farioli the fifth manager INEOS have hired at Nice.
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United are a completely different category of team compared to Nice with higher expectations on Ten Hag to succeed. And the Dutchman is already coming under scrutiny following the team’s disappointing start to the campaign.
But early reports indicate that Ratcliffe has no immediate plans to rock the boat at Old Trafford by changing things in the dugout immediately. And his approach to ownership at Nice indicates that Ten Hag will be given a reasonable amount of time to prove himself.
Ten Hag’s job appears safe for now, but he’ll know that pressure from the fan base could soon sway things.
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