THE billionaire businessman linked with a sensational £2billion bid to buy Chelsea has admitted he is really a Manchester United fan.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man with a personal fortune of £21bn, has refused to deny speculation he is attempting to strike a deal with Roman Abramovich to sell his club.
Ratcliffe’s chemical company Ineos is said to be trying to complete a takeover at Stamford Bridge – even though the club insist Abramovich is not looking to walk away.
But despite being a Chelsea season ticket holder, the 65-year-old admits he is actually a United supporter.
Ratcliffe, who was raised in a Manchester council house, said: “I am a season ticket holder at Chelsea, have been for years, although I’m a Manchester United fan really.
“Or was! It’s not getting any better. It’s gone from bad to catastrophic. Talk about a glass-half-empty.
“If you’ve got the six teams competing at the top of the table – this is last season anyway – you’ve got three who are managed by glass-half-full guys, Klopp, Guardiola and Pochettino. They get their teams up and energised.
“And then you look at Mourinho. He’s so down. He destroyed Luke Shaw last season. And then you’ve got Wenger who was miserable and Conte who was down.
“The guy I like is Simeone. I love him.”
Asked to comment on the bid reports Ratcliffe said: “There are always things going on at Ineos but I can’t really comment.”
But he then went on to claim he thought Chelsea’s Russian supremo Abramovich was “on his way out” of the club – although the Blues have always insisted the oligarch was committed to Stamford Bridge.
The tycoon’s refusal to quash the rumours and readiness to discuss topics surrounding Chelsea and football in general will only fuel speculation he wants to push through a deal.
Chelsea have gone on the record to dismiss talk of a takeover, insisting Abramovich remains committed and intends to revive plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge in the future.
The club decided to shelve the proposed new 60,000-capacity ground, citing the ‘”current unfavourable investment climate”.
Abramovich himself has had visa problems with the Home Office this year.
And the billionaire owner and chairman of chemicals company Ineos has declined to rule out his interest in seizing control of the club where he holds a season-ticket.