Erik ten Hag ‘reluctant to give up any power’ at Man Utd as Ratcliffe could swing axe | Football | Sport

Erik ten Hag and Sir Jim Ratcliffe could run into early problems as the British billionaire and his company INEOS assume control of football operations at Manchester United. Ratcliffe and Co are reportedly hoping to overhaul the club’s transfer policy in order to rectify previous shortcomings in the market while Ten Hag isn’t willing to budge.

According to ESPN, Ten Hag is reluctant to give up any power in the new system, particularly his major role in identifying transfer targets. His contract permits him to veto any and all transfer decisions but his influence has extended beyond that. 

The Dutchman has enjoyed close to complete control of Man Utd’s transfer policy. During his 18 months at the helm, the 53-year-old has almost exclusively signed players he worked with at Ajax, such as Lisandro Martinez, Antony and Andre Onana or fellow countrymen like Tyrell Malacia and Wout Weghorst.

The signing of Antony, who joined the club for £85million in the summer of 2022 and has fallen well short of expectations during his time at Old Trafford, is said to be of particular concern to the new owners.  

INEOS plans on taking the transfer policy in a different direction but Ten Hag wants to remain a key part of the decision-making process. He is particularly keen to establish that the veto clause in his contract will be honoured despite the change in personnel at the top of the club.

Both parties will have to be in agreement for the tides to turn up north otherwise they may be forced to cut ties. The report goes on to add that INEOS’ preference is to keep hold of Ten Hag until at least the end of the season, although the new minority shareholders are willing to swing the axe if more poor results force their hands.

Speaking after the deal was announced on Christmas Eve, Ten Hag said he “wants to work” with INEOS and they “want to work” with him. “I look forward,” Ten Hag said “They want to work with me, I want to work with them, we will have the conversations, the meetings. We will see.

“I think it’s a good thing, it’s very positive. We are looking forward to working together. INEOS wants to work with me in this structure and I want to work with them.”

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