Manchester United owners Avram Glazer (L) and Joel Glazer
London (AFP) - Manchester United owners the Glazer family do not want to sell the Premier League club, according to British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
United fan Ratcliffe, who owns the Ineos chemical group, was interested in buying the Old Trafford club after his unsuccessful bid to take over at Chelsea earlier this year.
There had been reports the Glazers could be ready to consider selling United after increasingly angry fan protests during their troubled reign.
But while Ratcliffe wants to add to the Ineos sporting portfolio, he revealed the American owners told him United are not on the market.
“Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family, whom I have met,” Ratcliffe said at Financial Times Live conference on Tuesday.
“I met Joel and Avram, and they are the nicest people. They are proper gentlemen, and they don’t want to sell it (United). It is owned by the six children of the father and they don’t want to sell.
“If it had been for sale in the summer, yes we would probably have had a go following on from the Chelsea thing, but we can’t sit around hoping that one day Manchester United will become available.”
Ratcliffe’s Ineos group already owns French side Nice and Swiss club Lausanne.
On the prospect of further investment elsewhere, Ratcliffe said: “The most popular sport in the world is football, and it is the sport closest to us, so we should have an asset… not a Premiership (club), I think a premier club.”