Manchester United must consult with INEOS over any January transfer window deals and the future of manager Erik ten Hag prior to the Premier League ratifying its agreement to take a 25 percent stake in the club.
The English football giants announced on Christmas Eve it had reached an agreement with chemicals company INEOS and its chairman Jim Ratcliffe, a boyhood Red Devils fan, which will give the firm responsibility for football operations at Old Trafford once the regulatory approval procedure is completed.
This procedure is set to take four to six weeks and run beyond the finish of the January transfer window.
But, with the Premier League club’s shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing related to the deal published late Tuesday contains a provision guaranteeing INEOS will be consulted on football matters while regulatory authorities complete their checks.
United must liaise with INEOS over “appointing, dismissing or accepting the resignation of any director of football or first team manager of the company” as well as entering into or continuing any talks concerning the purchase or sale of any player.
The SEC filing also allows the US-based Glazer family, who remain the majority owners of United to force a full sale if they received an offer for their shares which Ratcliffe was unwilling to match, although the British billionaire still has first refusal on the purchase of those shares.
INEOS director of sport Dave Brailsford, best known for his work in cycling, was in the crowd at Old Trafford on Tuesday as United came from 2-0 down to defeat high-flying Aston Villa as they moved up to sixth in the Premier League.
Ratcliffe, who tried to buy Chelsea last year, grew up in the Manchester region.
The 71-year-old’s group has extensive involvement in sport, owning French Ligue 1 club Nice and Swiss side Lausanne-Sport, as well as the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team.
The Glazers bought the club for £790 million ($1.47 billion at the time) in 2005, loading the 20-time English champions with debt.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Ratcliffe made offers in the region of £5 billion for a complete takeover, but that fell short of the Glazer family’s valuation and the Qatari banker withdrew his bid for a 100 percent purchase in October.
United have not been crowned Premier League champions since Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge in 2013 and have already been knocked out of this term’s League Cup and the Champions League.
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