Ratcliffe is a lifelong United fan (Picture: Getty)
INEOS founder Ratcliffe and a Qatar-based group led by banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani are the front runners in the battle to acquire the club from the Glazer family.
The American owners first announced in November they were ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ with three bidding processes taking place since then.
There have been no further developments, however, with recent reports suggesting the Glazers could take the club off the market as they hold out for a revised £10billion asking price.
Al Thani’s bid for the club was to acquire 100 per cent of United while the offer from Ratcliffe is thought to be for 60 per cent. Offers from both parties are thought to have been in the excess of £5billion.
Ratcliffe, a lifelong United fan, has already bought two European football clubs in Swiss side Lausanne and Ligue outfit Nice.
Still fighting to take over at Old Trafford, the 70-year-old says failing to succeed would mark a huge personal blow with the public fallout ‘too excruciating’ to bear.
Ratcliffe visited Old Trafford in March (Picture: Getty)
‘The Manchester United bid would have been unthinkable two or three years ago if we hadn’t had some of the experiences – quite a few of them some quite difficult experiences with Lausanne and Nice,’ he said in an interview with INEOS’ YouTube channel.
’You can’t really contemplate acquiring a brand like Manchester United and failing because the failure is just far too public and excruciating, failing in a deal like that.’
Following reports claiming the Glazers have abandoned their plans to sell the club, former club captain Gary Neville remains confident of a change.
‘I don’t believe the Glazers not selling/doing anything story,’ he wrote on social media.
‘They have to do something. They’ve run out of money and the financial situation is desperate. They need investment in. They’re also having a toxic impact on the club from the inside out.
‘The negligence continues for now but I don’t think it can go on without some action on raising funds. Also who would come in as a minority alongside them with the damage it would do to their reputation.’
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