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Other SportsSir Jim Ratcliffe says Man United are lacking the right 'culture' –...

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Man United are lacking the right ‘culture’ – and reveals Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘interesting’ view

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United lack the structure for success and instilling the right “culture” is a priority following his takeover of football operations at the Premier League giants.

British billionaire Ratcliffe’s Ineos group completed a deal worth more than £1 billion to buy 27.7% of United shares on Tuesday, with expectations high that the 71-year-old will transform underwhelming results on the pitch since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

“We have to look at the organisation of the club because it is not good at the moment,” Ratcliffe told Belgian business newspaper Tijd, adding that he found it “more fun to answer questions about sports” than his other interests.

“We then have to ensure that the right people end up in the right positions. Every person in management must be world-class.

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“And then it is important to create a positive, supportive, friendly and high-quality environment. That culture was missing before.

“Only in such an environment can you get the best out of sportsmen. If successful, the results will follow automatically. That’s the plan and I believe in it.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe on Erik ten Hag

Ratcliffe’s remarks echo some of the views expressed by Dan Ashworth, the Newcastle United sporting director who has taken gardening leave while Manchester United negotiate a move to take him to Old Trafford.

Former British cycling chief Sir David Brailsford has a key performance role within Ratcliffe’s Ineos group, while Omar Berrada will join United from Manchester City as chief executive and Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox – City’s academy director until 2023 – is expected to be involved.

Ineos chief executive of sport Jean-Claude Blanc will also become part of the United board.


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Discussing United manager Erik ten Hag, Ratcliffe said the Dutchman’s responsibility to report “directly to the CEO” was an “example” of poor structuring. “That is no longer possible in a modern football organisation,” he added.

United won the last of their record 20 Premier League titles at the end of Ferguson’s final season and have not threatened to repeat the feat since then.

Former Ajax manager Ten Hag’s first campaign in charge produced a Carabao Cup triumph last season but his second started in dismal fashion, with a succession of defeats dropping United well off the European qualification places alongside finishing bottom of their Uefa Champions League group.

Ratcliffe has attended several matches and events with Ferguson and reportedly responded jovially when he was asked whether the 82-year-old could be given a role at the club.

“I talk to Sir Alex every now and then,” he said. “He still has a very interesting view on the matter. And I always listen to that.”

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