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 and lifelong Manchester United supporter, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is set to put large funds towards improving the infrastructure at Manchester United as he closes in on a minority purchase of the Premier League club.

Ratcliffe's stake in Manchester United is expected to be finalised during the current international break and is set to be announced before Manchester United return to action on November 26th, when they face a trip to Everton.

This comes 12 months after current owners, the Glazer family, first announced plans to possibly sell the club completely or receive minority investment to help them remain at Manchester United. Qatari businessman, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, recently withdrew a bid worth £5 billion to purchase 100 per cent of Manchester United.

Ratcliffe, founder and CEO of chemicals company, Ineos Group Limited, will pay approximately £1.25 billion for a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United. As part of Ratcliffe's purchase, he will have full authority and control over football-related operations, whilst the current majority stakeholders, the Glazer family, will stick to commercial operations.

One area in need of immediate attention at Manchester United is regarding the club's current stadium, Old Trafford. Despite Manchester United's home ground being renowned as one of football's most iconic, it has not been properly maintained over the years and now appears very out of sorts when compared to much more modern stadiums.

Among the issues at Old Trafford is the leakage of rain that often finds its way into the ground as the roof of the stadium is in poor condition. Also, the seating arrangement in the ground is very outdated meaning supporters are often cramped in and have little space, whilst there is no visual screen in the ground.

The obvious solutions to Manchester United's stadium issues are either to upgrade Old Trafford in its existing form or knock down the Red Devils' current home and build a completely new stadium from scratch. The latter option has been ruled out by Ratcliffe, with the Ineos boss intent on renovating the facilities in and around Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe will reportedly pledge £245 million to improve both Old Trafford as well as the club's Carrington-based training ground facility. The majority of the investment is set to go towards the training ground, which has also become outdated in terms of its infrastructure as there has been little development to the facility since opening in the early 2000s.

This is set to be Ratcliffe and Ineos's latest venture into the footballing landscape as they are the current owners of Ligue 1 side, Nice, and Swiss Challenge side, FC Lausanne-Sport. As well as football, Ineos has invested in multiple other sports such as Formula 1, sailing, cycling, rugby and athletics.

With Ratcliffe taking over football operations at Manchester United, there are expected to be additions in terms of personnel within the new structure. Director of Sport for Ineos, Sir Dave Brailsford, is expected to take up a major role at Manchester United under Ratcliffe's new regime.

It remains to be seen whether the current CEO at Manchester United, Richard Arnold, and the football director, John Murtough, remain at the club with Ratcliffe possibly wanting a clean slate when it comes to key positions at the club.

Rumours have been swirling over the potential appointments of Paul Mitchell as Sporting Director and Jean-Claude Blanc as CEO, in what would be a significant reshuffle of Manchester United's football operations.

Manager, Erik ten Hag, is not thought to be in any immediate danger of losing his job once Ratcliffe takes charge at Manchester United, but it is thought that the Dutchman will have less say on transfers under the new regime.

Ten Hag has been very influential in Manchester United's transfer business since taking charge at Old Trafford in the summer of 2022, with large fees spent on his former players such as Antony, Lisandro Martinez and Andre Onana. The Manchester United boss also got his wish in having Cristiano Ronaldo be shown the exit door last season as well as the departure of long-time goalkeeper, David de Gea.

It is still unclear what sort of season Manchester United will have as they have lost nine out of 18 games in all competitions so far, with an exit from the UEFA Champions League group stages looking likely after losing three out of four in the competition. At the same time, ten Hag's side have found some form in the Premier League, winning four out of the last five games, rising to sixth in the league table.

If results are to heavily worsen under ten Hag, he may be dismissed in favour of another manager that Ratcliffe and the new football department deem more in line with what their vision is for Manchester United going forward.