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The Ratcliffes explain why they didn’t buy Newcastle United this summer

2 weeks ago
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As well as the alleged BZG attempt to buy Newcastle United this summer, interest was claimed from other potential buyers, including Jim Ratcliffe.

One of the richest people in England, Jim Ratcliffe founded chemicals giant Ineos in the late 90s and remains it’s biggest shareholder.

In later years he has diversified into other business interests, including sport.

Ratcliffe took over cycling’s Team Sky in May and also invested £110m in Britain’s America’s Cup sailing team in 2018.

His first move into football was in November 2017 when buying FC Lausanne-Sport.

They were a Swiss second tier club back then and two seasons later they are still in that same division (although they are the early leaders this season in the second tier). Just because you have a lot of money, it doesn’t mean you automatically throw a load of cash at any new business asset, whether it is a football cub or not. So far, FC Lausanne-Sport are yet to spend £1m on any player since being bought by Ratcliffe and indeed this summer only free transfer signings were brought in

Late August saw Jim Ratcliffe eventually buy Ligue 1 club Nice for around £90m after a long period of negotiations. That did see a belated spend on players, with eventually around £50m spent in the summer window, a net spend of around £30m with Allana Saint-Maximin accounting for most of the cash brought in.

In a new interview with BBC Sport, Bob Ratcliffe (brother of Jim) who heads up the Ineos Football Division of the business, has expained why they didn’t buy Newcastle United.

Bob Ratcliffe saying: ‘People talked to us about Newcastle but, again, you come back to a valuation in the 100s of millions and it’s very difficult to contemplate.’

He says that they ‘Spent quite a lot of time looking at Premier League clubs’ but that the valuations of Newcastle United and indeed any oter Premier League club makes it ‘pretty difficult to rationalise’ buying any of them.

Unfortunately for Newcastle fans it is a double whammy because due to all the benefits he get from owning Newcastle United, it appears very difficult (impossible?) for Mike Ashley to ‘rationalise’ selling NUFC. Whilst they remain a Premier League club anyway…

BBC Sport report:

Ineos did not buy a Premier League club because it was “difficult to rationalise”, says Bob Ratcliffe, the head of its football division.

His brother, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founded the chemical company which bought French top-flight club Nice in the summer.

Ineos has previously been linked with buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.

“We spent quite a lot of time looking at Premier League clubs,” Bob Ratcliffe told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek.

He said the company “looked at the valuations” but added that it was “pretty difficult to rationalise purchases in the Premier League at this time for us”.

In 2017, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is Britain’s third richest man, bought football club FC Lausanne-Sport, who play in the Swiss second tier.

He took over and rebranded cycling’s Team Sky in May and also invested £110m in Britain’s America’s Cup sailing team last year.

Bob Ratcliffe said “there was some exchange” with Chelsea but added that the company and the club were “a long way apart on valuation”.

He added: “After the noise around Chelsea there was a high proportion of clubs that people talked to us about.

“People talked to us about Newcastle but, again, you come back to a valuation in the 100s of millions and it’s very difficult to contemplate.”

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