Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe will address Manchester United's stadium issues once his minority stake in the club is finalised. Phil Noble/Reuters

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has written an open letter to Manchester United fans, asking for "time and patience" to "bring sporting success" back to the club, following his investment at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe, chairman of chemical company INEOS, has agreed to buy a 25% stake in the club for around £1 billion ($1.3bn). The Ineos Group, which he founded in 1998, will take control of football operations and Ratcliffe will also provide £236 million ($300m) for future investment into Manchester United's stadium.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's open letter

The 71-year-old businessman has told the Red Devils supporters that "we recognise our responsibility as custodians of the club on your behalf".

In the open letter to fans, he added: "I believe we can bring sporting success on the pitch to complement the undoubted commercial success that the club has enjoyed. It will require time and patience alongside rigour and the highest level of professional management.

"You are ambitious for Manchester United and so are we. There are no guarantees in sport, and change can inevitably take time but we are in it for the long term and together we want to help take Manchester United back to where the club belongs, at the very top of English, European and world football."

Additionally, Ratcliffe wrote, "I take that responsibility very seriously".

Ratcliffe's deal to buy his stake in Manchester United is reportedly "subject to customary regulatory approvals" but the Old Trafford club is "hopeful it will be completed as soon as possible". It is understood that it is initially going to be a six-to-eight-week process for the deal to be approved, which includes being signed off by the Premier League.

The British businessman mentioned this in his open letter, saying he won't speak about the deal in public until it is completed officially.

Once the deal goes through, Manchester United will be unable to complete transfers or to sack manager Erik ten Hag or football director John Murtough without consulting with Ratcliffe and INEOS.

The Lancashire-born businessman will also be handed two seats on Manchester United's board, which he will give to former Juventus CEO Jean-Claude Blanc and cycling boss Sir Dave Brailsford.

Manchester United and the Glazer family will have to pay Ratcliffe up to £52 million if they terminate the agreement for him to take a minority share in the club, according to reports in the English media.

As per the other clauses of the contract between the various parties, Ratcliffe has the first option to buy if the Glazers, whose stake will be reduced to 49 per cent of the club, are selling more of their shares within a year.

However, if the Glazers decide to go ahead with a full sale of the club within 18 months, the INEOS boss would be forced to sell his shares for £25.77 each, the price he paid for them.

Ratcliffe: Proud of Man Utd

Interestingly, soon after it was announced that Ratcliffe had secured 25 per cent in Manchester United, the Red Devils produced a brilliant performance against Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Despite being 0-2 down, Ten Hag and Co fought back to win the game 3-2 and secure three crucial points in the Premier League.

"Proud of @ManUtd; immediately after we secured the deal with #glazers we have secured the 3 points against #AVLMUN. I ask for patience as we tide through!" wrote Ratcliffe on X, formerly known as Twitter.

With 31 points from 19 games, Manchester United are in sixth place in the 2023-24 Premier League table. They are 11 points behind table-toppers Liverpool, who comfortably beat Burnley at Turf Moor earlier in the day on Tuesday.

Manchester United are scheduled to play one more time before the end of this year. The Red Devils will travel to the East Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest on Dec. 30.