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Sir Jim Ratcliffe brutally threatened to pull plug on Man Utd offer if Glazers didn’t meet strict Christmas Day deadline

SIR JIM RATCLIFFE threatened to pull the £1.03bn offer for Manchester United if the Glazers did not accept by Christmas Day.

But the Glazers could force Ratcliffe to sell his 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils in just 18 months.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe set a Christmas Day deadline to buy his stake in Man Utd or he was going to pull the plug

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe set a Christmas Day deadline to buy his stake in Man Utd or he was going to pull the plugCredit: PA

Ratcliffe’s announcement on December 24 was a surprise to many but paperwork filed today to the New York stock exchange revealed the Ineos billionaire was ready to walk away if a deal was not struck.

The development came as United announced a loss of £25.8million for the quarter year which ended on September 30.

However Ratcliffe will be encouraged to see record revenues of £157m posted for those three months.

But the patience of boyhood United fan Ratcliffe, who had been in talks with the Glazers since February last year, was beginning to wear thin.

The paperwork stated in the week leading up to Christmas Sir Jim’s company Trawlers Limited gave United ‘a deadline of December 25, 2023, to accept its best and final proposal’.

Ratcliffe officially submitted his £1.25 billion offer yesterday – and it is expected to be finalised by mid February.

But the US Securities and Exchange Commission filings submitted reveal more details about the negotiations with the Glazer family.

Progress was finally made in a series of discussions between December 18 and 22 – before the board of directors met again.

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The Glazer family first revealed they were willing to listen to offers for the club in November 2022.

United entered into 26 non disclosure agreements – with 19 invited to the first round of bidding.

Sheikh Jassim seemed to be leading the race at one but withdrew from the process in mid October.

United’s financial figures yesterday also showed the club’s wage bill has gone up by 9.7% to £90.3 million after they signed seven new players in the summer window.

The salaries of the squad would also have gone up as they returned to the Champions League this season due to clauses in their contracts.

Erik ten Hag sanctioned almost £180 million worth of new signings – in the shape of Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Andre Onana.

In order to balance the books and comply with the Premier League’s FFP guidelines, they pocketed almost £30 million from selling Anthony Elanga, Fred and Dean Henderson.

United have lowered their financial forecast for 2024 in light of their disappointing early exit from European football.

The Red Devils finished bottom of their Champions League group – meaning they did not even get the consolation of a Europa League place.

That means there will be few midweek matches over the remainder of the season and added to prize money could cost them between £30 and £45 million.

Meanwhile it was confirmed in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday that Ratcliffe’s company are looking to buy 13,237,834 Class A ordinary shares.

It read: “The offer and withdrawal rights will expire at one minute after 11.59pm eastern time on February 13, 2024, unless the offer is extended or earlier terminated.”

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