Sir Jim Ratcliffe enters race to buy Manchester United

British billionaire and lifelong Manchester United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe has officially entered the race to buy the Premier League club.

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“We have formally put ourselves into the process,” a spokesman for the INEOS founder and CEO confirmed on Tuesday.

Interested parties have to register their interest with Raine Group, the bank handling the sale of the club for the Glazer family. By doing so, potential buyers are allowed to undertake due diligence on the club before submitting a formal bid.

Bids would then come in beginning next month, and Manchester United could be sold by the end of the current season.

Previously, Ratcliffe indicated that he was indeed interested in buying Man United, if only the club was for sale…

Ratcliffe, who co-founded British chemical company INEOS in 1998, released the following statement back in August, publicly prodding the Glazer family that he would welcome the opportunity to talk to them about a potential takeover.

“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” the statement said.

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How likely is this to happen?

The statement came in response to a previous report which stated the Glazers were considering selling a minority stake in the club.

According to further reporting from the Times, Ratcliffe, 69, would be interested in a minority share with an eye toward taking over full control of Manchester United.

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Previous reporting on the ownership of Manchester United, from Bloomberg, speculated that the Glazers might ask for as much as $6 billion for a full takeover.

Just this summer, Chelsea became the world’s most expensive sports club/franchise to ever be sold. American businessman Todd Boehly paid $3.1 million to acquire the Blues from Roman Abramovich.

What has been the response from fans?

Manchester United Supporters Trust have released the following statement regarding the comments from Ratcliffe, as they are speaking rather cautiously about this potential takeover as they’ve heard all of this before many times.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe enters race to buy Manchester United originally appeared on NBCSports.com