Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to acquire a 25% minority stake in Manchester United has been agreed, with the Red Devils confirming the news on Christmas Eve.
The British billionaire has been linked with replacing the Glazers as Man Utd owner, but he has settled for a smaller role within the Old Trafford club.
However, his influence on proceedings at Man Utd will be huge as Ratcliffe will oversee the management of Man Utd’s football operations, with the club confirming this via a statement on the website.
This role will include all footballing operations of the men’s, women’s and academy teams.
While Ratcliffe’s deal has been agreed with Man Utd, he is unlikely to be of much help during the January transfer window.
That is because the minority stake needs to be approved by the Premier League – a process that is expected to take between six and eight weeks.
As a result, Ratcliffe will not have full control of football operations until the Premier League approves his minority takeover.
This may have an impact on Man Utd’s January business as Ratcliffe won’t be able to dictate the signings that arrive through the door at Old Trafford.
When will Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first Man Utd game take place?
Due to the Premier League’s approval process usually taking between six and eight weeks, Ratcliffe will likely not be in power at Man Utd until February.
If the process takes exactly six weeks (from the agreement date of Christmas Eve), then Ratcliffe will be cleared to become a minority stakeholder at Man Utd on February 4.
If it takes exactly eight weeks, then the approval will be official on February 21.
Either way, Ratcliffe is highly unlikely to be in charge during the January transfer window.
Man Utd’s fixtures in February 2024
|West Ham (H)
|Aston Villa (A)
As a result, it’s likely that Ratcliffe’s first Man Utd game will either be against West Ham (February 4), Aston Villa (February 11), Luton Town (February 18) or Fulham (February 24).
The exact date of his first game in charge of football operations at Man Utd isn’t yet known.