Gary Neville claims that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s proposed 25% investment in Manchester United has raised more questions than it will answer.
Ratcliffe’s group are set to take control of football operations at the Red Devils, should their investment offer be approved.
But club legend Neville, 48, took to X (fka Twitter) on Sunday to list his questions and demands about the takeover process – including the reiteration of his stance that the Glazer family must leave the club to allow Man United to rebuild properly.
Neville noted his five longstanding rules regarding the takeover of Manchester United, including a new training ground and new or renovated stadium – and added a sixth amid the turmoil surrounding the management of the club in recent years.
Neville’s sixth demand read: ‘The club requires leadership that is statesmanlike on major issues that enables a fairer, more inclusive and diverse game. Leadership that builds a positive environment and culture whilst adhering to the clubs values and principles and one that is willing to make tough decisions to prevent an erosion in the clubs public image.’
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is to complete a deal for 25 per cent of Manchester United this week
Gary Neville raised questions about the proposed takeover – and demanded the Glazers go
Sheikh Jassim withdrew after his last offer was deemed short of the Glazers’ asking price
Following Sheikh Jassim’s withdrawal from the race to become complete owner of Man United, after growing frustrated with the process instigated by the Glazers, it meant a minority move is the most likely next step.
Gary Neville’s non-negotiable demands on any takeover
1. A new sporting project
2. A new or redeveloped Old Trafford
3. A new training ground
4. Full redevelopment of the surrounding land to create a Manchester United World and amazing fan experience
5. Pay off the debt and stop taking dividends until the above is done
6. The club requires leadership that is statesmanlike on major issues that enables a fairer, more inclusive and diverse game. Leadership that builds a positive environment and culture whilst adhering to the clubs values and principles and one that is willing to make tough decisions to prevent an erosion in the clubs public image
Ratcliffe, a lifelong United fan, will pay around £1.4bn for a quarter share at Old Trafford, in the first step in what is being viewed as a staged buyout.
However, despite the 70-year-old’s involvement, it meant that the Glazer family are still involved in the club, to the chagrin of Neville, and many of the club’s long-term fanbase.
Neville asked: ‘How does a minority stakeholder positively impact the club to achieve the above? Can a minority shareholder have any impact on the above. It leaves more questions than answers.
‘My preference is and always will be now for a Glazer family full exit. They have overstayed their welcome in Manchester yet seem oblivious to this fact.’
Neville also listed sixteen questions that were raised as a result of the incoming Ratcliffe group investment, covering issues of governance, the role of the Glazers moving forward, renovating the Old Trafford stadium, and debt levels at Man United among others.
Neville is one of many in Man United’s support base who are desperate to see the back of current owners, the Glazer family.
There have been a number of protests since they agreed to sell or take investment of the club last November, with fans demanding a full sale.
The Glazers, who purchased their first tranche of Man United shares in March 2003, completed their full takeover of the club a little over two years later.
In November 2022, the family announced that they were open to a potential sale of the club, either in full or in part. However, the lengthy negotiations have meant that it has taken almost a full year to reach this stage.
More to follow…
Gary Neville’s 16 questions on Ratcliffe’s partial takeover
1. What does the distribution of funds look like? Is all the cash being taken out of the club?
2. Which Glazers are going or is it a family dilution?
3. How does it impact the NYSE shareholders?
4. Does the executive stay the same?
5. Does the sporting side stay the same above the manager?
6. Who within the board has sporting control?
7. Are there future dilution clauses with the Glazer family in any deal you do as a minority shareholder? When are they?
8. We’re maxed out on the credit card and debt. How is this deal going to change the capital structure and financial issues the club has?
9. Is any further debt being placed on the club?
10. Is any debt being paid off?
11. How does this deal impact the board composition?
12. How does a minority shareholder impact the negative culture within the entire organisation?
13. Old Trafford is tired and is in need of significant redevelopment. How does this deal resolve this issue?
14. Will this deal allow the development of the training ground to its required standard?
15. Old Trafford requires significant investment on its surrounding land. Does this deal impact this requirement positively or does it leave it as a concrete wasteland?
16. How does a minority shareholder stop cultural decline across a whole organisation if the people who have overseen this decline still have a majority shareholding?