Shropshire Star

FA approves Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Man Utd stake purchase as deal nears completion

The green light from the FA was one of the last remaining steps.

Last updated

The Football Association has approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United.

Confirmation that the Premier League had given its backing to the deal was contained within an update to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday evening.

A further SEC update has now revealed that approval from the FA has also been obtained as completion edges closer.

Within an amended tender offer statement published on Wednesday afternoon came confirmation that the national governing body’s approval “has already been obtained”.

A statement from the FA read: “The FA can confirm that the Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship board have approved the acquisition by Sir Jim Ratcliffe of Manchester United Football Club in relation to its Manchester United Women’s entity.

“This follows confirmation from the Premier League that the acquisition, and further investment of 300 million US dollars, had been approved by the Premier League Board following the completion of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT).

“The FA now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion.”

The green light from the FA is one of the last remaining steps but the deal cannot be completed until the tender offer for Class A shares is finalised.

The period in which holders of Class A shares can tender them for sale has been extended from February 14 until 23:59 on February 16.

The PA news agency understands that completion of the deal is unlikely to immediately follow the closure of the tender offer but looks likely to come next week.

The latest SEC filing shows that the number of Class A shares to have been tendered has rocketed from 36.7 per cent on February 9 to approximately 58.8 per cent on February 13.

That is more than enough to complete the 25 per cent acquisition that Ratcliffe’s offer is capped at, meaning even though more shares are available, that is the most which will be purchased.

Manchester United v Luton Town – Premier League – Old Trafford
Manchester United fans with protest banners against the Glazer family’s ownership, pictured during the match against Luton in November (Martin Rickett/{PA)

The Ineos chairman has agreed to pay US dollars 33 (£26) per share for a quarter of the Class A shares, as well as paying that price for Class B shares held by the Glazer family.

The deal was announced on Christmas Eve and the agreement to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club also includes investing a further USD 300m (£238m) into their infrastructure.

The FA’s approval follows hot on the heels of the Premier League completing its owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement from the league, released on Tuesday, read: “The (Premier League) board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an independent oversight panel.

“The Premier League’s Owners’ Charter has also been signed.”

Manchester United v Aston Villa – Premier League – Old Trafford
Sir Dave Brailsford, pictured centre on Boxing Day, has been a regular presence around the club in recent weeks (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ratcliffe and his team have wasted no time getting to know the club during the seven-week process to overcome the necessary hurdles.

The billionaire has been a frequent visitor as Ineos prepares to take responsibility for footballing operations at United.

Sir Dave Brailsford, director of sport at Ineos, has been an even more regular presence around the club, where fans and employees have been told the priority is on-field success.

United’s statement last month confirming the shock appointment of Manchester City’s Omar Berrada as chief executive stressed that approach.

“The club is determined to put football and performance on the pitch back at the heart of everything we do,” it read.

“Omar’s appointment represents the first step on this journey.”

Ineos continues to look at strengthening United’s football leadership team, with recruitment a particular area of focus.

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth is reportedly their top target to take up the same role at Old Trafford.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.