Speculation around the future of the club grew with every passing month as contenders came and went. From Thomas Zilliacus to Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani, billionaires from far and wide attempted to throw their hats in the ring.
But, as we have come to expect from those at the top of the tree, there was a distinct lack of communication as to what exactly the Glazers were looking for in a buyer or investor. All this did was fuel the rumours and increase the distrust emanating from Old Trafford.
Ultimately their ambiguity in regards to what they wanted meant Sir Jim Ratcliffe&aposs acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the club was received with scepticism. How could United fans trust somebody who is happy to go into business with the Glazers?
But since Sheikh Jassim dropped out of the contest in October, there have been signs of positivity to be found with the INEOS arrival. Not only is Ratcliffe expected to take over the football side of the business, the boyhood fan&aposs ideas on how to run a club are far beyond what the Reds have come to expect.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Nice&aposs manager Francesco Farioli explained how the INEOS project manifests itself day-to-day. “I like to listen to the feedback I receive because it&aposs good to have different perspectives and different input,” he explained.
“Afterwards, I have freedom in the decisions on the pitch. In other things, a bit more for the medium and long term, there is always an open door.
“We share our opinions and we have periodic, day-by-day or weekly conversations. But also with the club, we have a monthly review of everything with all the parts involved – about the strategy, about the present and also about the future.
“The ambitions of the club are already quite big with the desire to bring the team back in Europe and to be constantly in the European competition. This is the target, to dream big.”
Farioli&aposs words sound almost too good to be true when you consider the laissez-faire attitude the Glazers have tended to employ over the years. It is such practices which see United in the mess they are in now.
But, with an owner at the very top who is happy to get hands-on with the football project, United would be on the right path to long-term success and ending the apathy which currently surrounds them.