A minority stake in Manchester United was agreed to be sold by the Glazer family to the British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe. The catch is that they might end up paying a hefty price if they reconsider.

If the deal for the Englishman to join as a minority stakeholder is terminated, the Glazer family would allegedly be required to pay him a substantial amount. The news broke on Christmas Eve that Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group had agreed to pay almost $1.6 billion to acquire 25 percent of the 20-time English champions.

Although the transfer has been discussed, the Premier League has not yet approved it, therefore it is not officially confirmed. It means that the Glazer family may still pull the plug and turn off the power at this point.

However, in that event, the American owners would have to pay Ratcliffe $48 million, according to The Independent. The 71-year-old would also be due $18 million to reimburse his expenditures as a termination fee from the United owners, according to the article. This fee must be paid within three business days.

United-Ratcliffe: More details on agreement emerge

It’s believed that Ratcliffe will have a 29 percent ownership part in the club when he invests in its infrastructure, up from 25 percent. He reportedly put up over $300 million, which was later turned into shares.

What’s worth noting is that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the second-wealthiest individual in Britain with a fortune of about $38 billion.

According to other provisions of the parties’ agreement, Sir Jim will have the first option on purchasing shares from the Glazers if their sales increase within a year. If that happens, their ownership percentage in the club will drop to 49 percent if that happens.

However, the Ineos chief is obligated to sell his shares for the sum he bought for them—$33 each—if the Glazers complete a comprehensive sale of the club within 18 months.

The priorities of INEOS following their investment into Manchester United
The priorities of INEOS following their investment into Manchester United

The priorities of INEOS following their investment into Manchester United

Will Ten Hag be safe under Ratcliffe?

The billionaire will be able to choose two board members: Sir Dave Brailsford, a cycling executive, and Jean-Claude Blanc, a former CEO of Juventus. John Reece, CFO of Ineos, and Rob Nevin, chairman of Ineos Sport, will both be appointed to the PLC board by him.

But thanks to the new structure, United must inform Sir Jim and Ineos before finalizing any deals. That means that without their approval, they can’t dismiss Erik ten Hag or John Murtough, the sporting director.

With 13 losses thus far in the 2023-24 season, the Dutchman’s position as manager of Manchester United is still up in the air. Nonetheless, Ten Hag feels sure that Ratcliffe would back him.

“As you said, the schedule is so condensed, so I haven’t had the time so far to speak with them, but it will come, and I look forward [to it]. They want to work with me, and I want to work with them. We will have the conversations, the meetings, so we will see.

“I’m focused on the games so far. So, as I said, in this moment, I don’t want to have distractions but in the coming days, weeks, there will be time for this and then I will know more. But I think it’s a good thing, it’s very positive, we are really looking forward to working together. INEOS wants to work with me, with this infrastructure, and I want to work with them”, he told reporters.

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