Sir Jim Ratcliffe arrives at Old Trafford for £6billion takeover talks as he is given tour 24 hours after Qataris | The Sun

IT WAS the turn of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos co-owners to get the VIP tour of Manchester United today ahead of their prospective takeover bid.

We reported yesterday how his rivals, the potential new Qatari owners, arrived for a look around the club on Thursday.

Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, a member of the Gulf state’s ruling royal family, has tabled a bid believed to be under the Glazers' £6billion asking price.

Al Thani's bid is reportedly worth £5bn but he is promising to wipe the club's debt and fund upgrades for both Old Trafford and Carrington.

But one of Britain’s richest men, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and his Ineos group also made a bid.

Locally-born United supporter Ratcliffe, 70, has pitched that he will put “Manchester back into Manchester United” with a “British bid to make the club a beacon for a modern, progressive, fan-centred approach to ownership”.


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And today it was his turn to head to Old Trafford to take a look at what he could be buying.

Andy Currie and John Reece, the co-owners of Ineos with Jim, were in attendance at the Theatre of Dreams as was Rob Nevin, chair of Ineos Sport and long-time right hand man to the billionaire.

And they were also joined by Jean Claude Blanc, CEO of Ineos Sport, and Sir Dave Brailsford, Director of Sport at Ineos Sport.

Ratcliffe – who owns Ligue 1 side Nice – was snapped arriving at Old Trafford and being greeted by chief executive Richard Arnold. 

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Just like the officials representing the Middle East, the group are believed to be meeting staff members of various departments, including football, financial and commercial as well as receiving a tour of the Theatre of Dreams and the Carrington training ground.

Both the stadium and training HQ are in need of a revamp, and the trip will have allowed them to assess how much would be needed for a makeover.

The Daily Mail are now reporting that second bids now need to be in by midweek, with Wednesday the likely deadline, in a “tightening of process” with any final bids set to have an Easter deadline.

Second offers will be invited to be made to the US bank Raine Group, who are handling the sale on behalf of the Glazers.

They will then consult with American owners before determining who their preferred bidder is and then giving them full access to United’s accounts and then further negotiations could take place.

Two other bidders that are believed to be from the USA are also allegedly in the frame and will be doing the same.

Ratcliffe is a petrochemicals tycoon who at his peak was worth around £21BILLION.

He runs multi-billion-pound chemicals giant Ineos, which owns French club Nice, Swiss side Lausanne, plus a third of Formula One team Mercedes.

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