Man Utd takeover: Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS face FIFA sanctions threat

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 9 Jun 2023 09:42 BST
  • 3 min read
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Man Utd
© ProShots

Manchester United’s takeover is approaching a key point, with Sheikh Jassim having put a take-it-or-leave-it offer on the table for existing owners the Glazer brothers. According to reports, there is a Friday deadline on this bid.

While the Qatar bid to take control over Man Utd steps up, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is the favourite to complete a buyout of the Old Trafford club, faces a potential headache from FIFA at this vital time.

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Ratcliffe already owns Ligue 1 side Nice – a team that he plans to tie into a multi-club model centred around the Red Devils – and it is here that the problem emerges.

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Presently without a head coach, the Allianz Riviera club are seeking to secure the services of Lorient boss Regis Le Bris after a move for former Chelsea manager Graham Potter has gone cold for the moment. Indeed, terms between the coach and his new club have already been agreed.

Lorient, though, will not stand for the move and hit out at Nice’s attitude – not just in this case but in previous working between the club.

“After consultation with the board of directors, the vital forces of the club and its partners, FC Lorient has taken the decision not to release Regis Le Bris from his contract,” the club said of the coach, who only recently signed a new deal with FCL and finished 10th in Ligue 1 just three points behind Nice, despite a far smaller budget.

“FC Lorient has reminded OGC Nice in writing of its obligations to respect article 211 of the Administrative Regulations of the LFP. The club also plans to seize the LFP and Fifa to denounce the repeated practices of OGC Nice and request sanctions against the club.”

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe
© ProShots - Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Moffi transfer criticised

Lorient president Loic Fery also criticised the manner in which Ratcliffe’s Nice signed Nigeria international striker Terem Moffi from them.

“They behaved badly in January. I had received an apology from the boss of INEOS on the Terem Moffi case. They are doing it again today,” Fery said.

Despite the wealth of Ratcliffe being injected into Nice, the club has never been seen as well run and has fallen short of its objectives – a warning to Man Utd fans hoping that he might be the owner to take them into a more successful era.

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