Ten Hag says Man Utd’s new investors ‘want to work with me’
LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Erik ten Hag insists Jim Ratcliffe wants to work with him, even though he is yet to speak to the British billionaire as he prepares to take control of football operations at troubled Manchester United.
Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group finally agreed to a deal to buy a 25 per cent stake in United on Christmas Eve.
INEOS will have responsibility for United’s footballing operations under the terms of a deal that is expected to take four to six weeks to receive regulatory approval.
Dave Brailsford, INEOS’s director of sport, was at Old Trafford on Boxing Day for the 3-2 win against Aston Villa — a result which gave the under-fire ten Hag some much-needed breathing space.
United travel to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, languishing in seventh place in the Premier League, and have already been eliminated from the Champions League and the League Cup.
Despite his rocky second season in charge, ten Hag is confident Ratcliffe is keen to develop a working relationship to get United back on track.
“The schedule is so condensed so I didn’t have the time so far to speak with them, but it will come and I look forward to it,” ten Hag told reporters on Friday.
“They want to work with me, I want to work with them. We will have the conversations, the meetings, so we will see.”
Asked if he is expecting INEOS to be a regular presence at United’s Carrington training base, ten Hag said: “I’m focused on the game so far.
“So, I said, no. In this moment I don’t want to have distractions but in the coming days, weeks, there will be time for this and then I know more.
“But I think it’s a good thing, it’s very positive and, as I said, we are really looking forward to working together.
“INEOS wants to work with me in this structure and I want to work with them.”
The unpopular Glazer family remain majority shareholders at Old Trafford.
But a United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing related to the deal contains a provision guaranteeing that INEOS will be consulted on football matters at United.
This includes “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 discussion concerning the purchase or sale of any player.
“We always want to win — and it doesn’t matter who is in the lead of the club,” ten Hag said.
“We are appointed here to win so in this area we need a winning culture no matter who is in the lead, no matter who is the owner. But, of course, the owners can inspire you.”