Roy Keane has become one of the most outspoken public voices on Manchester United during his career as a pundit on Sky Sports or ITV Sport. But his passion for the club consistently shines through, and he will be happy with fresh reports claiming things are about to get ruthless at Old Trafford.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe expects his £1.3billion deal for a 25 per cent stake in United and control of the club’s entire football operation to be passed by the Premier League next month.
INEOS figures Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc will earn a seat on the club’s board, reporting to the 71-year-old lifelong supporter.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Brailsford has been reaching out to former United staff as part of an audit to gauge the performance challenge in M16.
The former British Cycling performance director is said to be completing due diligence, with ‘brutal’ changes at Old Trafford on the horizon.
INEOS will likely make key appointments to reshape United’s sporting structure, including a new head of recruitment and sporting director.
Richard Arnold will also be replaced as the club’s chief executive after his departure at the end of 2023. Current interim Patrick Stewart isn’t expected to inherit the role permanently.
Earlier this year, Keane admitted he wasn’t sure what direction United would go under INEOS’ rule. However, he welcomed the change to come.
“Who knows [what will happen],” Keane explained at the DW Stadium as United faced Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup third round.
“But it can’t be any worse than over the past few years in terms of decision-making upstairs regarding the recruitment, the fees they have been paying and the wages they have been handing out.
“So you hope there is a change in dynamic at the club, new opinions, but only time will tell. They [INEOS] are bringing some inspiration for the club, and that’s good.
“They have very high ambitions, and that is also what belongs to Manchester United. We want to match their standards, and we are looking forward to their cooperation.”
The MEN report adds that John Murtough’s future at United is in the balance, with a new sporting director one of INEOS’ top priorities.
It’s claimed that the incoming investors are open to retaining Murtough in an administrative role, ending his involvement with recruitment.
That will be just one of many changes on the horizon at Old Trafford, though, which will please Keane and other former United stars.