Sir Jim: Winning is the priority

Wednesday 21 February 2024 16:30

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has outlined his vision for Manchester United in his first big interview since becoming a co-owner of the club.

In an exclusive chat with MUTV's Helen Evans in London, the Failsworth-born Reds supporter made it crystal clear that he expects the club to regularly compete for the top honours in the game.

Insisting that winning is the absolute priority for the men's, women's and Academy sides, he is determined to help promote that culture within Old Trafford.

Speaking with the same candour, enthusiasm and honesty as when addressing the club's staff recently, he broached a number of key topics, including plans for Old Trafford, a message to supporters and the declaration that, as one of Britain's wealthiest businessmen, he has not invested in United in order to make money.

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…

As someone who was at the Nou Camp to witness Sir Alex Ferguson's brilliant team complete the Treble in 1999, Ratcliffe is determined to oversee the Reds striving to return to such heights again under his stewardship, by targeting the top prizes at home and abroad.

When asked to outline his vision for the club, on and off the pitch, the first part of the question was an easy one to answer for somebody so forthright in his ambition.

“Well, on the pitch is really simple," he said. "I think the only interest we have is in winning football matches and competing for the Premier League and competing for the Champions League.

"So that's our only interest in being involved in Manchester United. That is what Manchester United is about. I mean, maybe I'm slightly biased, but I think it's the biggest, the greatest and the most well-known football club in the world.

"So it should always be competing for the league title and the Champions League title - always," he added. "So that's how we have to measure ourselves. In terms of what our expectations are off the pitch, if you like, I mean, that's just about values, I think.

"And you know, Manchester United does stand for certain values. It's got a style of football. It's got a code of values by which people have to respect. So we would expect people to do that.”

Sir Jim emphasised that the winning culture must extend throughout the club, and not just be a prerequisite of the men's first XI.

“I think any team that wears that Manchester United badge on their shirt is important to the club because they're wearing the badge and they need to be successful in winning," he stressed. "So they're all important components of the club."

Ratcliffe shares thoughts on Old Trafford's future


Sir Jim says the stadium is one of two key issues he is looking to address.

Ratcliffe also acknowledges that all supporters want, and demand, a side that produces on the pitch, and he, after all, is just like one of them in this respect. There is a duty to those who make the pilgrimage to Old Trafford, travel to back the Reds away from home and, of course, the millions who tune in on television across the globe to follow the Reds. It all boils down to achieving success and winning  trophies.

“That's what the club's all about, it’s the fans really," he admitted. "I've always said that we don't own the club. These shareholders, myself and the Glazer family, we don't own the club. The true owners of the club are the fans, the community, and we're merely guardians or stewards for a period of time of the club.

"We don't own the club. The club is a community asset. And so it's all about the fans really, and what the fans want, because [what’s] really, really important to those people who live in Manchester and go to the game every week, is they want to see the team winning, because that's so enjoyable for everybody. And we recognise that. So it's all about the fans."