Todd Boehly’s tenure at Chelsea sends a warning to Sir Jim Ratcliffe amid the British billionaire’s Manchester United takeover plans.
Sheikh Jassim, who is the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, is competing with Ineos owner Ratcliffe to buy the club from the Glazers, who have owned the Red Devils since 2005.
While the Qatari has made a world-record £5billion offer for a 100 per cent stake in the Premier League side, Ratcliffe’s Ineos group have only bid for a controlling stake.
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And according to a Sun, the Glazers are expected to confirm the “winning” bid in the coming days, with Ratcliffe believed to be the preferred bidder.
Man United insiders have indicated the Glazer family would prefer to sell majority control to Ratcliffe rather than release the entire club to his Qatari rival.
While Sheikh Jassim’s £5bn bid for full control was the highest sum offered, Ratcliffe’s deal for 50 per cent valued the full club at a price closer to the Glazers’ £6billion asking price.
Ratcliffe’s arrival at Old Trafford could mean the immediate exodus of the club’s top brass, including chief executive Richard Arnold and some other senior management figures.
And, major changes at the top are common when clubs change hands, and Ratcliffe will also likely want his own team.
But should Ratcliffe look to replace Arnold at the club it could cause disruption, given the 52-year-old’s influence.
A United source told the Athletic: “Joel (Glazer, the club’s most involved co-owner) is across United day to day, but Richard runs the club. Everyone is buying into his strategy internally. But would a new owner let someone they don’t know run it?”
And Boehly’s spell so far as Chelsea owner may act as a warning to Ratcliffe not to change too much too soon.
When Chelsea were sold last year, the club lost the expertise of executive director Marina Granovskaia, chairman Bruce Buck, and technical and performance adviser Cech.
Boehly made himself an interim sporting director, but a £600m spent on transfers sees Chelsea languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table.
But, it remains to be seen whether Ratcliffe will call for a similar degree of change.