Sir Jim Ratcliffe is Britain’s richest man, having founded chemical giants Ineos back in 1998 after achieving a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science form Birmingham University and London Business School.
The 70-year-old purchased French Ligue 1 football team Nice and has gained a reputation for being a harsh owner in his time in charge of the team from the Mediterranean coast.
Patrick Vieira, Adrian Ursea and Christophe Galtier have all had spells as manager of Nice under the ownership of Ratcliffe so far before being sacked or leaving for another team, having failed to impress their owner.
Lucien Favre has now been sacked from his role as manager of Nice after the team’s embarrassing defeat in the Coupe de France to a team two divisions below them, Le Puy.
Ratcliffe’s stint in charge of Nice has led him to pursue an interest in taking over a team closer to home, with the Brit seeing his bid to take over Chelsea FC rejected last summer.
With Manchester United fans furious with the Glazer family’s ownership of their club, it has been rumoured that Ratcliffe could spearhead a consortium to take over the club, with Formula 1 veteran Lewis Hamilton being one of the names linked to teaming up with Britain’s richest man.
The 38-year-old addressed these rumours back in September and has refused to deny that he could be involved in a takeover of Manchester United, having been a part of the consortium that sought to purchase Chelsea.
“Jim’s part boss but partner – I’d say we’re more partners because we’re in this together and I hope in future to do something with Jim and build with him,” Hamilton said last summer.
“I don’t really know where that will be or what that will be, so I can’t really say.
“I haven’t had a call from him asking if I want to be involved in [taking over Manchester United] just yet, but I do want to get more involved in teams because I really do believe in black ownership – there is a lack of it in sports – and black equity. Again, there is a real lack of that.”
Hamilton is not new to the idea of owning a sports team, as he currently owns the X44 Extreme E racing team, who won last season’s championship by a narrow two-point margin.