Who is Sir Dave Brailsford? New Man Utd owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s right-hand man

Jacque Talbot
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Sir Dave Brailsford

Sir Dave Brailsford is set to play a pivotal role at Manchester United following the confirmation that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed a 25% minority takeover of the club.

Although Brailsford may not be a household name for many Man Utd fans presently, he stands poised to become an integral part of the Old Trafford setup. This was only underlined by his presence at Old Trafford for the Boxing Day clash against Aston Villa – the first match since the beginning of the Ratcliffe era at the club.

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Born in Derbyshire in 1964, Brailsford’s journey into the world of sports administration commenced in 1998 when he initially joined British Cycling in a consultative role.

Over time, he ascended to prominent positions within the body. Notably, he is celebrated for championing the ‘marginal gains’ philosophy, which played a pivotal role in the improvement of British Cycling’s medal counts – including the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2010, Brailsford took on a pivotal role with Team Sky, later rebranded as Team Ineos, where his team secured victory in six out of seven Tour de France championships from 2012 to 2018.

But Brailsford’s career has not been without controversy. In 2018, a report by the Commons Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee raised concerns about Team Sky’s use of drugs, including triamcinolone, in aiding Bradley Wiggins in races – though they have consistently denied any involvement in doping, and no charges were ever filed.

Sir Dave Brailsford and Sir Jim Ratcliffe
© IMAGO – Sir Dave Brailsford and Sir Jim Ratcliffe

What was Sir Dave Brailsford’s previous role?

Before arriving at Old Trafford, Brailsford was the Team Principal for Ineos Grenadier. In 2021, he assumed the position of director of sport for Ineos across various sports, encompassing cycling, sailing, football, rugby, and Formula 1.

Furthermore, he holds the position of director of sport at Nice and has initiated a transformation of the club since his appointment. Despite initial challenges, the Ligue 1 club has seen a successful start to the new season this term.

It is thought that Brailsford could take up a similar position at Man Utd, though there has been no confirmation of what changes might take place at Old Trafford.

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