The Premier League has approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s proposed bid to buy a minority stake in Manchester United, the club said.
In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, United said it had already been granted approval under its rules over who is allowed to be an owner or director of a football club.
United also said it expected clearance from the Football Association as British billionaire Ratcliffe, who is the owner of multinational chemicals company INEOS, closes in on completion of his deal to buy 25 per cent of the club.
Premier League rules disqualify people from becoming owners or directors for reasons such as criminal convictions, sporting bans or involvement in other clubs.
Ratcliffe agreed a deal to buy a stake in United in December and his tender offer for 25 per cent of the Class A shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange has been extended until midnight on Friday night.
The offer, which is part of Ratcliffe’s deal to become the minority owner of Manchester United, was originally due to expire at midnight on Tuesday.
It was announced on Christmas Eve that the INEOS chairman had agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in the Premier League club in a deal that included investing $300million US dollars (£238m) into their infrastructure.
As well as buying Class B shares held by the Glazer family, the announcement confirmed that Ratcliffe would offer to acquire up to 25 per cent of all Class A shares at a price of 33 US dollars (£26) per share.
Ratcliffe will provide $200m upon completion of the deal and a further $100m by the end of 2024. That additional investment will eventually take Ratcliffe’s stake up to 29 per cent. Owners, the Glazer family, will have a 49% stake under the deal
As part of the deal, Ratcliffe’s INEOS Sport division will take over control of United’s football operations after more than a decade since the club won the Premier League title.
Ratcliffe has already conducted a series of meetings with club staff and associates in recent days.
He has met leaders of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust and spoken with local leaders, including senior representatives of Trafford Council, and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.
He was also among those in attendance at the Munich Air Disaster memorial last week.
Ratcliffe is reportedly already planning to lead an overhaul of United’s playing squad.
The 71-year-old was a boyhood United fan and last month described his proposed investment as the most exciting deal he has done in his career.
“I have done a few exciting things, but there is no question (about that),” he said.
Under the filing, more details were provided about Ratcliffe’s personal wealth which said his “liquid assets (primarily consisting of cash and readily marketable securities) were in excess of $4bn. It said his net worth was “significantly in excess of those liquid assets”.
Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!
You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!