Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been told what he needed to hear about Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Liam Wood

It has been 10 years since United got their hands on the Premier League trophy and, while Erik ten Hag improved matters on the pitch last season, there is one thing still holding them back in the boardroom. The much-maligned Glazer family are here to stay, for the time being, yet there could be a shift when it comes to their main business.

A football-first approach is what United supporters yearn for more than anything. They will never get it from their American owners, but with Ratcliffe on board, there might be enough of a change to pallet the fact they have not waved goodbye to Joel, Avram and their siblings.

While excitement has naturally diluted given a full takeover has long since been off the table, United have no choice but to give this &aposfresh&apos direction a proper chance. There are already a few examples of how the INEOS touch might improve things at Old Trafford and beyond.

Some would argue they couldn&apost get too much worse. Crucially, the blueprint from other sporting venues offers a little bit of solace for Ten Hag at a time that has brought uncertainty.

Unlike the majority of his predecessors in those barren post-Sir Alex Ferguson years, Ten Hag, who was appointed by United last summer following his success at Ajax, has been given the keys and played a significant role, not only on the training ground and pitch-side but when it comes to transfers as well.

He has been granted freedom to do things his own way. Ultimately, that means any judgement – good or bad – on the job he has done is a much truer reflection.

While his position in the dugout is secure, certainly after a recent upturn in Premier League form, the 53-year-old would have been keeping an eye on the latest rumours regarding the takeover saga to try and get a measure of how boardroom changes might impact his duties. He need not have worried, though, at least when looking at the account from one ex-OGC Nice manager.

“I saw Jim sometimes, but he only visited training sessions once or twice, not more,” said former Nice coach Adrian Ursea during his revealing interview with The Mirror. “We never felt the pressure about Jim because, in this period, I saw much more of his brother, Bob.

“I only saw Jim three or four times overall. It was clear that the big boss of the first team during that situation was our director of football, Julien Fournier. The biggest difference was the club became certain there would no longer be problems with money… once INEOS arrived they [the financial problems] went.”