Sir Jim Ratcliffe

How the INEOS philosophy relates to United

Thursday 22 February 2024 12:29

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been speaking about some of the key philosophies of his chemicals company, INEOS, and how they fit around Manchester United’s own ethos.

The club’s new co-owner completed his acquisition of 27.7 per cent of shares on Tuesday evening and conducted an interview with MUTV’s Helen Evans the following day.

Ratcliffe touched on his plans to redevelop Old Trafford and instil a winning culture, but he also revealed more about himself as a person, speaking about meeting with Eric Cantona for dinner and his love of exploration.

INEOS, the business with which he built his fortune, is central to his character and he feels the mantras underpinning it will also be relevant here.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe | The Interview Video

Sir Jim Ratcliffe | The Interview

Another chance to watch our unmissable Sir Jim Ratcliffe Q&A from February, exploring his plans on and off the pitch…

“We have three words that we use in INEOS, which I think encapsulate INEOS really well, which is: grit, rigour and humour. I think that a lot of that applies to football, you know,” he said.

“Grit, you definitely need grit. You saw that in Barcelona in [the Champions League final in] 1999. You know, they played to the last minute.

“Rigour is putting yourself into training, doing things well and properly.

“And you know, life's always… there's always a bit of adversity in life, so you need a sense of humour. Also you spend a lot of time there [at work], so you need to enjoy it.

“Then the other strapline in INEOS, which sort of underpins grit, rigour and humour, is manners, and I think that's really important as well.

“We insist on that in INEOS, people need to be well-mannered. You say good morning in the morning and I think the same applies to football and Manchester United.”

Clearly, Ratcliffe and fellow directors Andy Currie and John Reece have, over 25 years, built a winning culture at the multi-billion dollar business, which operates in 29 countries across the globe.

And he suggested that they would be challenging the way things work at United too, both on and off the pitch.

“People in INEOS, for whatever reason, they don't leave. We've had very, very few people of the senior management, the executive, ever leave INEOS and they do tend to work on, quite late in life.

Key quotes


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“But I think it's quite a challenging environment in INEOS. We're very focused on being successful, but it's quite a supportive and friendly and humorous place, so I think people obviously enjoy it.

“And I think a lot of those things that relate to the working environment equally apply to a football club.

“We need to make sure that… one of our challenges is to make sure the environment at Manchester United is a good environment for people to be supportive, but you're in elite sport, so it needs to be driven, it needs to be challenging, it needs to be competitive, but equally it needs to be supportive.

“You need a bit of humour. It needs to be an enjoyable place to go on a wet Monday morning.

“You're going to put your boots on and you're going to go out on the field. You need to want to be there.”

What Sir Jim said: