Alex Ferguson to play role in Jim Ratcliffe’s Manchester United overhaul
Big changes are coming at Old Trafford.
The British billionaire is set to buy a 25% stake in the Premier League giants and has already pledged £250m to help begin upgrading United’s crumbling infrastructure.
Ratcliffe, according to The Telegraph, is also hoping to oversee a drastic rebuild of United’s football operation which is currently lagging behind their domestic rivals.
To that end, the process began on Wednesday with the news that long-serving chief executive Richard Arnold is to step down with Jean-Claude Blanc, a leading figure at Ineos Sport, in the frame to be appointed.
Ratcliffe is also keen to employ a new director of football with John Murtough’s position said to be hanging in the balance following a succession of high-profile transfer errors.
With Ratcliffe keen to take guidance and advice from Ferguson, 81, Dougie Freedman’s chances of landing the role are likely to be enchanced.
The former Scotland international is currently impressing in a similar role at Crystal Palace with Ferguson understood to have been impressed with the way in which he has assembled a young squad built around the talents Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Michael Olise.
Aside from Atalanta’s Lee Congerton, former AC Milan pair Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, as well as Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta are under consideration.
While Ratcliffe’s impending arrival is seen as cause for optimism amongst the majority of United supporters, club legend Paul Scholes has questioned how much impact he will have while he owns just a quarter of the club.
Asked what Ratcliffe needs to do when he takes over the reins, Scholes told Webby & O’Neill: ‘Well everyone talks about recruitment and recruitment is very difficult.
‘It’s a difficult thing to get right, every signing you make is a risk. It’s clear that we’ve signed good players, but a lot of them don’t seem to ever work. So I think that will be the first thing he does.
‘They’re talking about a director of football as well, or a sporting director whatever you want to call it, with some experience, that will be something he will want to get in place straight away.
‘I just find it difficult to believe that he’s going to be left to his own devices only owning 25 per cent of the football club.
‘How are the Glazers not going to want a say at the top table when it comes to football decisions?
‘Obviously you can draw up contracts, of course you can, but if stuff is then happening that they don’t like, you’re telling me they’re not going to come to the table and have something to say about it? I’m sure they will.
‘I just find it bizarre. It’s obviously a stepping stone to him [Ratcliffe] taking over the club permanently, but how long that is going to be we don’t know. And how much time has he got to try and get things right?’
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