‘The Lionel Messi of sport business’ – INEOS chief linked with key Manchester United role

The Manchester Evening News understands that Ratcliffe has been holding virtual meetings with United co-chairman Joel Glazer about potential changes to the club&aposs structure, including possible personnel changes. United chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough are thought to be at risk. That would mean big changes could be coming at United.

Reports from The Times and The Athletic have both claimed that United could sound out INEOS Sport&aposs chief executive, Jean-Claude Blanc, for a potential role, with the latter claiming he is under consideration to replace Arnold &aposat least in the interim&apos. Blanc would arrive at the club with serious pedigree, having spent time with European giants Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain before his appointment at INEOS in December 2022.

Upon his appointment, INEOS revealed Blanc&aposs remit would include responsibility for &aposthe development of state-of-the-art dedicated facilities for each of the teams that INEOS owns, developing their business plans and growing their global brands, as well as developing them into a global integrated Sports Group&apos. That same announcement revealed he would walk alongside Sir Dave Brailsford whose focus is on &aposworld-class performance management&apos.

“I am delighted to welcome Jean-Claude as CEO of INEOS Sport with his many years of experience across different sports,” Ratcliffe said following Blanc&aposs appointment. “We have high ambitions for all our sports teams with a particular ambition to raise our standards in football and Jean-Claude will bring an entrepreneurial and innovative flair to all our teams.”

If Ratcliffe and his INEOS team do make big changes at United, it would certainly come as no surprise. Their Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice appointed Fabrice Bocquet as their chief executive in September 2022 – and the Frenchman has opened up about his work with Blanc as part of his current role.