Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe outside Old Trafford Credit: INEOS X

In 2000, then Manchester United captain Roy Keane called a section of the crowd the “prawn sandwich brigade” as they were not hardcore fans.

Prawn sandwich brigade

His actual words were “Away from home our fans are fantastic, I’d call them the hardcore fans. But at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don’t realise what’s going on out on the pitch.”

Whether Sir Jim Ratcliffe, one of Britain’s richest men who has made a fortune buying and selling unloved or failing businesses falls in to the prawn sandwich category is yet to be seen, but he is ready to invest just over £1 billion pounds in the club.

He is to purchase 25 per cent of the shares in Manchester United from the American Glazer family on the understanding that whilst they retain the majority stake, he will control football operations though his company INEOS.

The deal is the first to be agreed under the Premier League’s updated owners’ and directors’ test, which was approved by member clubs in March 2023 and includes a review by an independent oversight panel.

As part of the deal, he has also agreed to invest £236 million to upgrade and develop the club’s home stadium Old Trafford.

Approval of deal imminent

All this is dependent on approval by the Premier League, which was confirmed on February 12 and by the Football Association which is expected to follow.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page