Sir Jim Ratcliffe: My message to United fans

Wednesday 21 February 2024 20:30

If it takes one to know one, Sir Jim Ratcliffe fully appreciates what Manchester United supporters will be hoping to see more than anything else in a new era instigated by his co-ownership.

The lifelong Red – who was born in Failsworth, just seven miles from Old Trafford, and stood on the Stretford End in his youth – believes the huge fanbase ultimately craves the club's return to the pinnacles of English, European and world football.

That, and the development of world-class facilities, is what Sir Jim and selected experts from his multinational conglomerate INEOS plan to deliver in time, now that his investment in United has been completed and ratified by the Premier League and Football Association.

The key phrase there is 'in time' because although his quote in last night's club statement said "work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today", he pointed out that the process won't be as simple as flicking on a switch.
Preview | Our interview with Sir Jim Video

Preview | Our interview with Sir Jim

Our full interview with Sir Jim Ratcliffe is coming soon. For now, watch some of the key moments…

When asked at the end of our exclusive interview if he had a message for the fans, at this first opportunity to publically address the supporters, Sir Jim replied:

“So, the message to the fans… I think absolutely our priority with Manchester United is performance on the pitch. So we want Manchester United to be challenging for the Premier League, challenging for the Champions League. That's what Manchester United is about.

“It's the greatest club in the world so it should be playing the greatest football in the world. But it's not a light switch. We can't just switch a switch and, all of a sudden, United are going to be playing football at the level of Real Madrid because they haven't been for the last 11 years. That takes time and it takes a bit of patience.”
United's new co-owner continued: “The important thing is, I think, that we all observe the trajectory of Manchester United over the next two or three seasons, and the trajectory has to be in a good direction. So, I think that's how we should be measured by people.

“I would ask for a bit of patience, but ultimately, you know, the performance of the club does sit on our shoulders. My shoulders particularly, but also Dave Brailsford, who's going to be intimately involved, and the rest of the people at the club obviously. And we need to take the rough with the smooth.

“If we're successful that's fine. I think it would be nice to get a pat on the back for that. But if we're not successful then it's on our shoulders. So, we fully accept that responsibility and we're going to be very, very focused on doing all the things that we can, as well as we can, to turn Manchester United into a winning side again.

“That's why we're here.”