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Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first Old Trafford appearance date ‘confirmed’ after Man Utd deal announcement

The expected date of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first visit to Old Trafford as a minority owner of Manchester United has been revealed.

United announced on Christmas Eve that British billionaire Ratcliffe had agreed a deal worth £1.2 billion to purchase a 25 per cent minority stake in the club from the Glazer family.

The 70-year-old’s petrochemicals company, INEOS, will take over control of the club’s footballing operations once the deal is officially finalised.

Ratcliffe and INEOS have bought 25 per cent of the Glazers’ shares, while they have also offered to buy 25 per cent of the Class A shares that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
That section of the deal means that it will take until 2024 for the deal to be officially ratified, although United state that ‘all parties are hopeful [the transaction] will be completed as soon as possible’.

Ratcliffe has also been given two seats on United’s board, which will be filled by former British Cycling chief and current INEOS director of sport Dave Brailsford, and the ex-PSG president Jean-Claude Blanc.

Brailsford was present at Old Trafford to watch United’s Boxing Day clash with Aston Villa, despite the deal not being completed.

And according to journalist Ben Jacobs, Brailsford’s appearance is part of a strategy by INEOS that will see them become a ‘visible presence from the off’ at United.

That includes Ratcliffe himself, with Jacobs adding that the boyhood United fan is ‘likely’ to attend his first match since the announcement of the deal on January 14, when Erik ten Hag’s side take on Tottenham at Old Trafford.

Jacobs wrote: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe hoping to be at a match in the New Year, likely Spurs on January 14.

“Although completion won’t be done that early, INEOS feel being a visible presence from the off is vital. Was same during the sale process, which impressed those running it.”

For now, Brailsford was the only INEOS representative for the Villa fixture, although it appears that is set to change in the near future for upcoming matches.

He is leading a strategic review of footballing operations at Old Trafford, which could lead to exciting developments on the pitch for Ten Hag’s side.

On the pitch, United went 2-0 down against Villa inside 30 minutes, with John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker both scoring.

But a much-improved second half performance saw them equalise proceedings, following two goals from Alejandro Garnacho.

And Rasmus Hojlund’s 82nd-minute winner sparked jubilant scenes within Old Trafford – with Brailsford surely encouraged by the comeback he witnessed.

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