Nairobi News


Billionaire who took Eliud Kipchoge for Ineos challenge wants to buy Man United

The man who bankrolled Eliud Kipchoge’s quest to become the first athlete to run a marathon in under 2 hours has now set his eyes on acquiring Manchester United as criticism of the English club’s current owners continues to get louder.

A spokesperson for billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, on Wednesday confirmed his interest in buying his boyhood club.

“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer. If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership. This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent,” the spokesperson told The Times.

“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership. This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

United is owned by six children of the late American businessman Malcolm Glazer, who took a controlling stake in the franchise in 2005 with reports indicating that they are considering selling a stake in the club, which it is understood Ratcliffe would be open to buying.

Sir Ratcliffe is the CEO of Ineos Group Ltd and owns cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, Ligue 1 side Nice, who he took over in 2019, and FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League club.

Read: Musk says tweet about buying Manchester United was a joke

While making the historic event in October 12, 2019, Kipchoge become the first-ever human to complete a 42-kilometer marathon under two hours at the Ineos Challenge in Vienna, Austria. The world record holder and Olympic champion crossed the finish line in a time of 1:59:40.

Kipchoge travelled to Viena aboard a private jet owned by the British billionaire which was flown into the country by two pilots from Britain for the specific reason of flying Kipchoge to the Austrian capital.

In 2019, the British Billionaire attempted to purchase English Premier League club Chelsea. But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly refused to even make it to the negotiating table leaving the potential buyer to settle for French Ligue 1 club Nice for an estimated Sh1.4 billion. Chelsea had an asking price of Sh315 billion.

According to Forbes, Sir Ratcliffeis is worth about Sh14 trillion (£10 billion) with Ineos alone having a turnover of Sh5.6 trillion.

Manchester United is one of the most famous names in world football but is currently in crisis on the field amid angry calls from fans for the club’s current owners, to pull out.

Last season, the Red Devils finished sixth in the English Premier League, but they have gotten off to a rocky start this year and are currently bottom of the table after two matches.

Over the weekend, they were humiliated by Brentford in a 4-0 loss. The demolition was Brentford’s first win over United in all competitions since a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup in February 1938. Former Ajax boss Ten Hag becomes the first United manager in over 100 years to lose his first two matches.

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