Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority takeover of Manchester United has been completed and the Ineos chief, who also invests in the Mercedes F1 team, could yet be joined by Lewis Hamilton
The seven-time world champion, who has signed a new two-year deal worth a reported £100m, has invested in NFL outfit Denver Broncos and, despite being an Arsenal fan, has shown a willingness to become an investor in the Manchester outfit when quizzed on it in the past.
Earlier this year Hamilton said: “Jim’s part boss but partner – I’d say we’re more partners because we’re in this together and I hope in future to do something with Jim and build with him,” said Hamilton last year. “I don’t know where that will be or what that will be, so I can’t really say.
“I haven’t had a call from him asking if I want to be involved in [a United takeover bid] just yet, but I do want to get more and more involved in teams because I really do believe in black ownership – there is a lack of it in sports – and black equity. Again, there is a real lack of that.”
He added: “I am very close with Jim so I am aware of where he is at (with United). We talk a lot about football as he is very passionate about it. We have great discussions about what his team is doing, we talk about how Arsenal is playing.”
Ratcliffe is set to bring some trusted lieutenants with him to Manchester. Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc will be present at Carrington next month as they look to get a lay of the land. Despite the transfer window opening the new minority owner is set to play a minor role in their activity.
“Because completion won’t be until after the end of the January window, there’s no decision-making involvement in the January transfer window,” an insider with knowledge of the Ratcliffe plan told the Telegraph. “The Ineos team will go in and assess what needs doing and listen and learn about the whole structure. This is not about players in and out in a one-month period, this is a much bigger job.”