Man Utd chief Ratcliffe uses ‘INEOS Compass’ packed with banned phrases and ‘don’t do dumb s***’ mantra to inspire team

SIR JIM RATCLIFFE implements a word compass to keep things ticking in the right direction at his company Ineos.

Ratcliffe had his 25 per cent takeover of Manchester United ratified by the Premier League last month – kick starting a new Ineos era at Old Trafford.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe implements a word compass at his company Ineos


Sir Jim Ratcliffe implements a word compass at his company IneosCredit: PA
The 'Ineos Compass' details words and phrases that are encouraged or banned by the company


The ‘Ineos Compass’ details words and phrases that are encouraged or banned by the companyCredit:

Those who call the Theatre of Dreams home may have to steer clear of a few phrases now the billionaire Brit is taking control of the things at the club.

According to the Ineos website Ratcliffe introduced his “Ineos compass” as “a fun way of attempting to capture how Ineos works, and why”.

It features over 100 words and phrases that the company have categorised into “words we like” and “words we don’t like”.

Phrases encouraged at the company include “kids and sport” as well as “a beer” and “wood for trees”.

While Ratcliffe and his team discourage the use of phrases such as “awesome”, “making the same mistake twice” and “lukewarm cappuccino”.

The culture around Ineos is what has helped the company not only cement itself as one of the biggest chemical companies in the world, but also take its place as a front-runner in sporting success.

Those at Man Utd will have to avoid falling on the wrong side of the compass if they want to replicate the impressive work achieved by Ineos in other sports such as cycling and sailing.

One mantra that the company attempts to reinforce using their compass is “don’t do dumb s***” which is something Ratcliffe picked up while in the North Australian Outback.


Ineos – ‘Words we like’

The Ineos guide to why some of their phrases are encouraged:

Safe – The number 1 priority in INEOS: stay safe.

Northerners – This is partially tongue in cheek– but INEOS’ 3 owners all hail from the North: Manchester (Jim Ratcliffe), Sunderland (John Reece), and Doncaster (Andy Currie). In fact all three are Northern Grammar School boys.

Wood for trees – Getting to the heart of the matter. It’s a rare and key skill.

“Good morning” – It’s polite to say it. (See “Manners maketh man”.)

A beer – A number of INEOS’ creative ideas have arisen over a beer.

Swim against the tide – Don’t be afraid to question the status quo and do things differently. E.g. investing at the bottom of the cycle, and buying unfashionable businesses.

Scepticism – Is healthy. Don’t believe everything you are told.

Ineos – ‘Words we don’t like’

The Ineos guide to why some of their phrases are discouraged:

Winging it – If you don’t know, say so.

Lukewarm cappuccino – Jim can’t stand them!

The “I” word – We prefer the “We” word. “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’”.

Turf wars – We are all colleagues on the same team, and our structure demands sharing best practice and co-operating together.

Don’t do dumb s*** Jim came across this in large letters on a noticeboard in the North Australian Outback, at a very remote helicopter refuelling station manned by one solitary person. Consequences in the remote Outback are serious. As they are in chemical plants.

“Reach out” – The world’s worst phrase. It’s tacky, cheap, nauseous, irritating, meaningless, unnecessary.

Red Devils supporters may be more interested in what changes the 71-year-old is able to make on the pitch instead – with reports suggesting he and his team are looking to shake up the club’s recruitment.

It is said that Ratcliffe is hoping to put a focus on data driven recruitment and younger players going forward with Everton’s Jarrad Brantwaite and Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise amongst those linked with a move.

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However the Old Trafford faithful can wave goodbye to the idea of a marquee signing after Ratcliffe admitted he is looking to sign the next big thing rather than the finished product.

Speaking on Geraint Thomas Cycling Club, he said: “The solution isn’t spending a lot of money on a couple of great players.

“They’ve done that if you look at the last ten years.”

Before he added: “I would rather try and sign the next Kylian Mbappe, rather than spend a fortune trying to buy success.

“It’s not that clever buying Mbappe. Anyone can figure that one out.”

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