Gary Neville lambasted the timing of Manchester United’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe announcement.
On Christmas Eve, United confirmed Ratcliffe’s minority purchase of United.
The INEOS petrochemicals tycoon will take control of the club’s footballing affairs once Premier League approval is granted – a process likely to take six to eight weeks.
The announcement comes some 13 months after a potential takeover at United was first floated.
Ratcliffe, who arrives amid a dismal period of form for United on the pitch, will inject $300million (£236million) into the club for investment in its infrastructure.
Such a move would take the Briton’s immediate outlay to roughly $1.5billion (£1.18billion).
Despite some optimism among the United fanbase that Ratcliffe’s arrival could one day signal the end of The Glazers’ 18-year reign at Old Trafford, Neville labelled the timing of the announcement as “awful”.
The Sky Sports pundit and former United captain added that the club had been a “disgrace to the end” in 2023.
Writing onX,formally Twitter, Neville said: “Manchester United 2023 has been a disgrace to the end.
Manchester United 2023 has been a disgrace to the end. The timing of this is truly awful and no functioning organisation would even think about it. Anyway all the very best to Jim Radcliffe and I hope he can somehow work out a way to get the club right again and back to being…
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) December 24, 2023
“The timing of this is truly awful and no functioning organisation would even think about it.
“Anyway, all the very best to Jim Radcliffe and I hope he can somehow work out a way to get the club right again and back to being something respectable on and off the pitch.”
As mentioned,there will now be a six-to-eight-week liminal period as the Premier League sign off on Ratcliffe’s purchase, at the end of which the Briton will take control of footballing matters at Old Trafford.
In turn, next month’s transfer window will be closed by the time Ratcliffe is officially involved.
Upon completing his purchase Ratcliffe told the United website: “As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the Club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United Board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the Club.
“Whilst the commercial success of the Club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.
“We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the Club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.
“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the Club – the Board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the Club forward.
“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”