Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand breaks silence on Jim Ractliffe investment as he reveals club icon Ineos boss should follow
RIO FERDINAND has told Sir Jim Ratcliffe to reveal his grand plans for Manchester United or risk more dressing-room turmoil.
Ratcliffe, 71, is set to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club in a £1.3billion deal with the Glazers — and have control of football operations.
But United legend Ferdi, 44, declared: “We’ve not had it explained what 25 per cent looks like from a business standpoint, to appease the anxiety.
“Most fans wanted a new ownership. It’s not that now, so communication is vital.
“If Mr Ratcliffe is coming in and wants to hit the ground running, show some signs of influence.
“One of the key areas he needs to zone in on is communication with the fanbase.
“They are so important with the tone around the ground and that influences players.
“If you can control the hype, you have a better chance of keeping the dressing room tightknit and emotions to a level to perform.
“At the moment, the grey area for every single element of the football club is not healthy.”
There is a proposal of a new United football committee, which could include Sir Jim’s INEOS colleague Sir Dave Brailsford.
However, with negotiations still being finalised after Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani withdrew his £5bn offer to buy the Red Devils, there remains confusion over the exact role and power Ratcliffe will take on from the club’s US owners, the Glazer family.
Asked if Erik ten Hag’s squad have the mentality to deal with the noise on and off the pitch, Ferdinand added: “It is hard to say whether this squad can deal with stuff like this.
“You are demanding a lot from them.
“They are a team still trying to find out who they are.
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“But I wouldn’t have any player being able to have the excuse. I’ve seen it, I’ve been there.”
The ongoing uncertainty over the drawn-out takeover — the Glazers put United up for sale in November last year — has coincided with the team’s poor start to the season. Ten Hag’s side are eighth in the Premier League and already eight points behind leaders Tottenham after just nine games.
They have also lost their opening two Champions League fixtures to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray and sit bottom of Group A as they host Copenhagen tomorrow.
Ferdinand added: “When stability isn’t there underneath, that’s when you need to come to the front as an owner and say how it is. It puts everyone at ease.
“That’s not going to right everything, just by communicating but it goes a long way and squashes a few of those loud voices.”
The former England defender suggested British billionaire Ratcliffe should use United’s former chief executive David Gill as inspiration.
Gill, now 66, was in the job from 2003-13, overseeing great success under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferdinand, who won six Prem titles, the Champions League and three EFL Cups at United between 2002-14, said: “In my time, David Gill left us in no uncertain terms about the direction of the club and a clear, ‘This is the project’.
“We went through a lull when Jose Mourinho and Chelsea were dominating, as well as Arsenal and that was when my contract renegotiation was going on.
“People were courting me but I was absolutely clear and happy with the club’s aspirations.
“If there were any issues, you went to see him. Plain and simple. I don’t know if that’s going on at the club now.
“Technical staff could be telling players what the project is.
“But do the players really believe it when there is no voice or face at the top?”
Manchester United v Copenhagen is live exclusively on TNT Sports 2 tomorrow. For more info visit tntsports.co.uk/football
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