© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of British soccer club Manchester United is seen at a lounge during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 15, 2023. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
(Reuters) – Jim Ratcliffe’s company INEOS has formally entered the bidding process to buy Premier League soccer club Manchester United, a spokesperson for the chemical firm told Reuters on Tuesday. The Glazer family, United’s U.S. owners, said in November they had begun looking at options for the 20-times English champions, including new investment or a potential sale. In August, British billionaire Ratcliffe, a long-time fan of the club, expressed interest in buying United, Reuters reported. “I can confirm that we have formally put ourselves into the process,” an INEOS spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. INEOS’s interest in United comes after the energy group also bought French Ligue 1 club Nice in 2019.
United fans have been clamouring for a change of ownership and the Glazers, who also own the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have been the target of intense criticism as the team last won silverware back in 2017. The club are currently fourth in the league standings on 38 points after 18 games, one point behind their local rivals Manchester City but nine adrift of leaders Arsenal.