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Ratcliffe outlines three-year plan to knock Man City and Liverpool off their perch

Ratcliffe outlines three-year plan to knock Man City and Liverpool off their perch

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has finally completed his purchase of a minority stake in Manchester United, and there is plenty of anticipation for what the future holds with the billionaire set to take over the club’s footballing operations.

The INEOS chairman has already come out guns blazing, declaring his intention to knock Manchester City and Liverpool off their perch by restoring United’s status as world beaters over the next three years.

The bold plan will resonate with the United faithful, who have been starved of success since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, but Ratcliffe has also called for patience as he implements his master plan.

“We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour,” Ratcliffe told the Telegraph. “They are the enemy at the end of the day. There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them from their perch.”

“It’s not a ten-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a ten-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there. 

“And if we give people false expectations, they will get disappointed. So I think the key thing is our trajectory so that people can see that we’re making progress.”

Revamping United’s recruitment team as well as redeveloping Old Trafford has been at the forefront of Ratcliffe’s agenda, and the 71-year-old reaffirmed his commitment to realising those plans.

United are hot on the heels of Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. But the Magpies are demanding around £20 million in compensation to release him from his lengthy gardening leave.

Ratcliffe is a big fan of Ashworth’s work, but the INEOS chief was dismissive about the prospect of meeting Newcastle’s lofty demands.

“I think recruitment in the modern game is critical,” Ratcliffe added. “Ashworth is one of the top sporting directors in the world. He is interested in United because it’s the ultimate challenge.

“Manchester United have clearly spent a lot of money, but they haven’t done as well as some other clubs. So when I was talking about being best in class in all aspects of football, recruitment is clearly top of the list.”

Ratcliffe declined to go into specifics about Erik ten Hag, whose team are looking to cap off a disastrous start to the 2023/24 campaign with a top-four finish.

Riding the momentum of a five-game winning streak, they welcome Fulham to the Theatre of Dreams this weekend before travelling to Nottingham Forest for their FA Cup fifth-round clash.