‘A billionaire at the gates’ – US media react to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Manchester United arrival

The 71-year-old will take control of the footballing operations at Old Trafford once his arrival is confirmed with items such as player transfers and improvements to facilities likely to be high on the agenda. CEO Richard Arnold announced his intentions to leave his post on Wednesday, with a senior staffing rebuild expected under Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe – a lifelong United fan – has fought off stiff competition from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim to buy a stake in the club, with the Glazer family still in control with a majority 75% holding. Back in their homeland, outlets across the United States have covered the news.

Daniel Hellier, Bloomberg

“A billionaire arriving at the gates of Manchester United with a sack full of cash to spend promises very different things, depending on whether youre backing the shirt or the shares.

“It&aposs been roughly a month since we broke the news that Jim Ratcliffe was leading the race to invest in the English football giant. As the chemicals bigwig inches closer to a deal for 25% of Manchester United, both fans and investors are waiting on details of the transaction that will refresh ownership of the club for the first time in almost two decades.

“Manchester Uniteds supporters would certainly have preferred the clubs owners, the US Glazer family, to sell outright to deep-pocketed Qataris. They now want Ratcliffe to save as much of his money to invest in players to improve on-pitch fortunes. They also expect more than a lick of paint at the clubs famous, but creaking, Old Trafford stadium.

&aposWhat fans want is for him to set out a clear plan for investment in the club, both the infrastructurethe stadium and training groundand the playing side,&apos said Chris Rumfitt, committee member at the Manchester United Supporters Trust. &aposWe also need reassurance that the money coming into the club is going to spent on the club, and not just go to the Glazers.&apos”

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James Robson, ABC News

“Despite spending about $2 billion on transfers in the past decade, United has been toppled as English soccer&aposs most dominant force. While rival Manchester City has been backed by the vast wealth of Abu Dhabi&aposs ruling family, United has still been able to compete for the world&aposs leading players and has broken records to sign the likes of Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire.

“But that hasn&apost brought success, with many of United&aposs signings failing to live up to the expectations of leading the team back to the top.

“There have been changes in recent years. Former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has gone. The role of football director was introduced, with John Murtough appointed to that position, and Matt Hargreaves was recently hired to lead player negotiations.

“The club believes its soccer operations department has been strengthened, pointing to the recent signings of Andre Onana, Mason Mount and Rasmus Hojlund as evidence of an improving recruitment policy.

“Hojlund is considered among the best-emerging strikers in Europe and was signed from Atalanta for 64 million pounds ($82 million).