Does Sir Jim Ratcliffe know what he’s doing?

The INEOS regime is attempting a major overhaul of football operations at Old Trafford, but the revolution hasn’t started smoothly.

“There’s room for improvement everywhere we look at Manchester United, and we will improve everything,” Sir Jim Ratcliffe said in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg this week. “We want to be where Real Madrid is today, but it’ll take time.”

To even get close to achieving such a lofty goal, United need a proper plan. The INEOS chairman has been working to employ “the best in class” across all levels of the club since becoming a minority owner at Old Trafford, and the Glazer family have given him full control of footballing matters.

Supporters are desperately hoping that Ratcliffe is the man to bring back the glory days after over a decade of misery and division. But just six short months into his reign, a familiar feeling of unease is starting to creep back in, and the roadmap is already looking frayed.

He admits he’s “had to do some things which are unpopular”, and it’s likely that more controversial decisions will be made before the 2024-25 season gets underway. The worrying thing is that United don’t seem to be any better off for those Ratcliffe has already taken, with the bizarre handling of Erik ten Hag’s future in particular raising early doubts over his leadership…

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