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Sir Jim Ratcliffe gets Premier League approval to buy Manchester United stake

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United has obtained Premier League approval.

Confirmation that the league had given its backing to the deal was contained within an update to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday evening.

The club are still awaiting Football Association approval.

The period in which holders of Class A shares can tender them for sale has been extended from February 14 until 23:59pm on February 16.

Ratcliffe's investment also includes a pledge of 300m US dollars to upgrade club infrastructure, including Old Trafford
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment also includes a pledge of 300m US dollars to upgrade club infrastructure, including Old Trafford (Nick Potts/PA)

So far 36.7 per cent of Class A shares have been tendered, already enough to complete the 25 per cent acquisition. Ratcliffe’s offer is capped at 25 per cent, so even though more shares are available, that is the most which will be purchased.

The Premier League announced on Tuesday afternoon that the deal had been approved following the completion of the owners’ and directors’ test (OADT).

“The (Premier League) board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an independent oversight panel,” a league statement read.

“The Premier League’s Owners’ Charter has also been signed.”

Club sources say the process is now moving positively towards completion.

It was announced on Christmas Eve that the Ineos chairman had agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils in a deal that included investing a further 300 million US dollars (£238million) into their infrastructure.

As well as buying Class B shares held by the Glazer family, the announcement confirmed Ratcliffe would offer to acquire up to 25 per cent of all Class A shares at a price of 33 US dollars (£26) per share.

Ratcliffe has conducted a series of meetings with club staff and associates in recent days.

He has met leaders of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and spoken with local leaders, including senior representatives of Trafford Council, and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

He was also among those in attendance at the Munich Air Disaster memorial last week.

Ratcliffe is reportedly already planning to lead an overhaul of United’s playing squad, starting with four new players to aid Erik ten Hag’s bid to ensure qualification for the Champions League.