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INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe release statement over Manchester United bid | Football

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to restore the club to the fans and community (Pictures: Getty)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have confirmed they have submitted a bid for ‘majority ownership’ of Manchester United, stressing the importance of restoring the club’s ties to the North-West.

Prospective buyers had until 10pm on Friday’s ‘soft deadline’ to put forward their proposals to the Raine Group, who are overseeing the potential sale on behalf of the Glazer family.

Soon after the deadline, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of one of Qatar’s biggest banks, confirmed that his recently created Nine Two Foundation had submitted a formal bid.

That proposal – thought to be worth slightly less than what the Glazers are hoping for – has already been met with controversy.

Rainbow Devils, United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters club, released a statement saying they had ‘deep concerns’ over the bid, while it could prove difficult to separate Al Thani and his backers from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund – who already own Paris Saint-Germain.

As such, INEOS’s mission statement is rooted in the fact they are a British-based company, emphasising the need to restore United to the fans and local community.

That statement read: ‘We can confirm that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have submitted a bid for majority ownership of Manchester United Football Club.

Ratcliffe and INEOS already own French club Nice (Picture: Getty)

‘We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community.

‘We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again.

‘We also recognise that football governance in this country is at a crossroads.

‘We would want to help lead this next chapter, deepening the culture of English football by making the club a beacon for a modern, progressive, fan-centred approach to ownership.

‘We want a Manchester United anchored in its proud history and roots in the North-West of England, putting the Manchester back into Manchester United and clearly focusing on winning the Champions League.’

The Qatari bid struck a slightly different tone, reading: ‘Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100 per cent of Manchester United Football Club.

‘The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch and – above all – will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football Club once more.

‘The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience, and communities the club supports.

‘The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world. More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops.’

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