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Sir Jim Ratcliffe: Man Utd takeover is most exciting thing I have ever done

Sir Jim Ratcliffe: Manchester United takeover is most exciting thing I have ever done
Sir Jim Ratcliffe meets the press ahead of United's home game with Tottenham - Ash Donelon/Getty Images

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has claimed his involvement with Manchester United is the most exciting venture of his life and expects his deal for a 29 per cent stake in the club to be formally approved within the next month.

United take on Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday with Ratcliffe attending his first game since news of the £1.03 billion deal was announced on Christmas Eve.

The Ineos owner spoke to reporters in a brief exchange in the Old Trafford press room before the game and admitted taking a minority stake in his boyhood club was a dream come true.

Asked if it was as exciting as anything he had done, Ratcliffe said: “Correct. Yes. I have done a few exciting things but this caps it all. There’s no question about that.

“It’s the first match for me since we got here. I am very excited to be here. It’s a big match. We normally do well against Spurs.”

Ratcliffe, 71, said the deal was the realisation of an ambition he had held for “a few years”. “It’s taken a few turns as you know but these things take some doing,” he said.

The Glazers, who have agreed to hand Ratcliffe complete control of football operations as part of the agreement, have been severely criticised by fans for staying away from Old Trafford for the most part.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's arrival means the Glazers ceding complete control of football operations at the club
Sir Jim Ratcliffe's arrival means the Glazers ceding complete control of football operations at the club - Simon Stacpoole/Getty Images

But the Oldham-born Ratcliffe, who said he attended his first United game around the age of 10 and last came to a match at Old Trafford “two or three years ago”, said he would attend matches as much as he could.

“I can’t come all the time because I’ve got a few other things to manage,” he said. “But I will come quite a lot. I can’t come to all the games.”

Ratcliffe’s deal is awaiting regulatory approval from the Premier League and United’s Class A shareholders but he expects it to be completed next month.

“Early to mid-February,” he said. “We hope they don’t find anything dodgy in our CV.”

Ratcliffe was reluctant to discuss his first impressions of the club or any of the challenges ahead while Ineos awaits the deal to be green-lighted.

“It’s a good question but it’s not appropriate to answer that,” he said. “I have met Erik [ten Hag] but it’s inappropriate until it is all formalised.”

Ineos has to be consulted over any football decisions United make during the transition period but Ratcliffe declined to comment on the January transfer window.

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