Gary Neville has voiced his skepticism about Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s impending investment in Manchester United, stating that it raises more questions than answers and doesn’t provide a clear solution to the club’s issues.
After nearly a year-long bidding process, Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim has withdrawn his offer, making way for Ineos founder Ratcliffe to acquire a 25% stake in the club for an estimated fee of £1.5 billion. While this represents a minority share, Ratcliffe has negotiated control over football operations as part of the deal, pushing the Glazers into the background.
United legend Neville, who co-owns Salford City, is not yet convinced that Ineos’ bid can trigger the necessary changes required to revamp United’s performance on and off the pitch. He has outlined 16 questions that he believes must be answered.
In a post on Sunday, Neville wrote: “The news of the Qatari withdrawal last night leaves Manchester United on the brink of a minority investment. Can this really work, and what impact will it have on a struggling organization?”
Neville then listed his non-negotiable demands for a takeover of Manchester United that he had put forward over a year ago, which included a new sporting project, redeveloped Old Trafford, a new training ground, a complete redevelopment of the surrounding land, paying off the debt, and more inclusive and diverse leadership.
He added a 6th demand in light of recent events, stating that the club requires leadership that adheres to the club’s values and principles and is willing to make tough decisions to maintain the club’s public image.
Neville questioned how a minority stakeholder can positively impact the club to achieve these goals and whether they can have any significant influence. He expressed his preference for a full exit of the Glazer family from the club and raised numerous questions about the specifics of the deal and its potential consequences.
He concluded by posing 16 starter questions that fans would like answered, covering financial distribution, Glazer family involvement, board composition, debt, cultural change, stadium redevelopment, training ground development, and more.