Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s impending arrival at Manchester United has been welcomed by a key sponsor. Tyre-making giant Apollo’s managing director Neeraj Kanwar believes the INEOS chief, who is expected to buy shares amounting to between 25-29 per-cent of United, will breathe new energy into the Premier League club.
Ratcliffe is waiting to find out if he will pass the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test but has wasted little time in getting to know people around the club. He attended his first match since having a £1.4bn bid for the club accepted by the Glazer family when United drew 2-2 with Tottenham on Sunday.
Positioned alongside legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Ratcliffe was seen greeting many of the VIPs in the Old Trafford directors’ box. He has also met head coach Erik ten Hag, supporters’ groups, and other key stakeholders.
Kanwar believes that Ratcliffe’s arrival will be positive for both United and the club’s sponsor. He took aim at the Red Devils and Chelsea for allowing clubs such as Aston Villa, Brighton and Newcastle to break into the Premier League’s top six, and has taken a subtle dig at the Glazers by suggesting that ‘new oxygen’ is required.
“I think it will do good,” Kanwar told the Daily Mail. “Some new oxygen has come in with Mr Ratcliffe. Let’s see, it’s too early to say what’s going to happen with the team.
“But always when some new infusion of oxygen comes in, you might see something new in the club which is what’s required I think.
“I’m seeing smaller clubs coming up in the Premier League this year – the Aston Villas of the world, Brighton, Newcastle – and the old guys have somehow not got the story right. The Uniteds and the Chelseas.
“So I think it’s a good idea to bring in some new ownership. If they are successful then my sponsorship is much more successful.”
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