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Sir Jim Ratcliffe would have ‘no obligation’ to keep the Glazers on the board at Manchester United in the event of a takeover, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire. The INEOS chief is currently leading the race to purchase the Red Devils. Sheikh Jassim is also interested, though now seems to be falling behind.
It has become an open secret that Ratcliffe is willing to let brothers Joel and Avram Glazer keep a stake worth 20 per cent in United as part of any potential takeover.
But Maguire, speaking to Football Insider, has now clarified the situation and insisted the siblings wouldn’t be guaranteed a replace on the board.
Instead, it will be a decision made by Ratcliffe only – with the 70-year-old having ‘no obligation’ to keep the Glazers in his inner circle.
“I think as far as a minority Glazer ownership would be concerned, this would be specifically in respect of Joel and Avram,” said Maguire.
“If they’re allowed a 20 per cent threshold, there’s no obligation from Sir Jim Ratcliffe to give them a seat on the board.
“But that could be part of the negotiation strategy by the Glazers to demand that they stay in the boardroom.
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“However, having a voice on the board isn’t the same as controlling the board.
“Ultimately, that would be by Sir Jim’s team, but it would allow the Glazers to have an element of input.
“I have a suspicion that it would anger quite a few Manchester United fans.”
Ratcliffe won’t want United fans to turn against him should he win the takeover battle as expected.
Supporters have long made it clear how much they despise the Glazers, often protesting against the Americans during their tenure.
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Even old boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once spoke out to condemn the Glazers, while former players such as Gary Neville and Nicky Butt have slammed the way the Glazers run the club.
Ratcliffe has, however, previously hailed the Americans – insisting they were the ‘proper gentlemen’ when quizzed on the family back in October.
The INEOS chief said at the time: “Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family, whom I have met.
“I’ve met Joel and Avram and they are the nicest people, I have to say, they are proper gentlemen.
“They don’t want to sell it. It’s owned by the six children of the father and they don’t want to sell it.
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“If it had been for sale in the summer then, yes, we would have probably had a go following on from the Chelsea thing, but we can’t sit around hoping that one day Manchester United will become available.
“We have an exciting sporting franchise [Ligue 1 side Nice], but the one thing we don’t have is a Premier [League] team.
“The most popular sport in the world is football and it is the sport we were brought up with and it’s the one most close to us. We really should have an asset in the sporting franchise.”
He has, though, also taken aim at United for recent transfer dealings – slamming Fred in 2019.
“They haven’t got the manager selection right, haven’t bought well,” Ratcliffe told the Times.
“They have been the dumb money, which you see with players like Fred.
“United have spent an immense amount since Ferguson left and been poor, to put it mildly.
“Shockingly poor, to be honest. We have a different approach here [at Nice] to be moderately intelligent about it. Try to do it more grassroots, trying to locate young talent.
“Some clubs seem to have an ability to do that, Southampton, Lille.
“United have done it really poorly. They have lost the plot.”
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