Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to purchase a 25% stake in Manchester United faces another delay, with the takeover unlikely to be completed in time for the opening of the January transfer window.
Per Mail Sport, the announcement of the expected £1.4 billion deal will not come at a board meeting that’s due to take place on Thursday afternoon.
Against the fans’ lofty ambitions, a complex agreement, initially expected to be ratified by the end of this week, will take ‘weeks’ to materalise, threatening to hurt Man Utd further down the line.
If these ominous claims prove valid, the British petrochemicals billionaire’s effort to take control of football operations at Old Trafford may have to be postponed until the turn of the calendar year.
With Financial Fair Play rules continuing to hold the squeeze on United’s finances, the Red Devils won’t make any incoming signings before unburdening the deadweight in January.
As the Glazers remain in charge, under-fire manager Erik ten Hag will again be stripped of the freedom of choosing his targets and overseeing transfer, as was the case during the summer transfer window.
That’s if he stays in charge that long.
Man United’s chaotic recruitment campaign in the summer has already backfired in the early goings, with the 20-time Premier League champions lagging eight points behind joint-leaders Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Given the club’s precarious position both on and off the field, the Red Devils cannot afford to waste more time on a never-ending takeover saga, not to mention poor choices in the transfer window.
January will probably be their last chance to salvage an underwhelming 2023/24 campaign, but with the club stalling on the Ratcliffe deal, everything is still in the balance.
Ratcliffe is also the last man offering the drowning Glazers a straw after the Qatari magnate Sheikh Jassim bin Hammad Al Thani pulled out of the deal over the weekend.
They would be better off clutching at it before it’s too late for them and United.
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