Former Nice boss Adrian Ursea offers encouragement that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment will boost Manchester United’s spending power
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
Former Nice manager Adrian Ursea believes that Sir Jim Ratcliffe will have a hugely positive impact at Manchester United and will significantly boost the club’s spending power.
It is anticipated that Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion investment in United, for a 25 per cent stake of the club, will be confirmed next week.
However, it may be another two months before the investment is ratified by the Premier League. United have already confirmed that chief executive Richard Arnold is leaving the club, while there have been suggestions that football director John Murtough could also depart.
Ursea worked under Ratcliffe at Nice, who are owned by the billionaire’s INEOS group. In 2021, Urse save the club from relegation.
Having previously been at Nice as an assistant coach to Patrick Vieira, Ursea recalled how the club had financial problems. However, those issues were eradicated once INEOS became involved.
Adrian Ursea believes that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment will boost Manchester United
Ursea stated that Ratcliffe wasn’t a regular visitor to the club’s training ground but his brother Bob was more heavily involved.
As reported by The Mirror, Ursea said: ‘The biggest difference was the club became certain there would no longer be problems with money.
‘The first time I was there there were huge financial problems but once INEOS arrived – they went. I saw Jim sometimes but he only visited training sessions once or twice – not more.
‘We never felt the pressure about Jim because in this period I saw much more of his brother Bob. I only saw Jim three or four times overall. It was clear that the big boss of the first-team during that situation was our director of football, Julien Fournier.’
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In news that will be of encouragement to United fans, Ursea disclosed that Nice started to increase the amount of money that they spent on players.
Ursea said: ‘After I left, INEOS began spending more money on transfers.
Ursea recalled that Ratcliffe rarely visited the Nice training ground, with his brother Bob more present
‘They spent around €60million in the market. Before, the club wouldn’t permit a transfer that cost more than €5m or €6m.
‘Then Nice started to have the power to spend up to €15m on players because with INEOS the money was there. It was very important to save the situation – relegation would have been a catastrophe for the club. Maybe INEOS would have left, I honestly don’t know. I’m very proud that we saved the situation with our players, staff and president because it was a really, really, difficult period.’
Ursea indicated that INEOS will make specialist appointments at United that will suit the club.
He said: ‘INEOS are in Switzerland with Lausanne and they’re still committed within the life of the club. They are businessmen but beyond that they nominate the specialist people who know what’s truly inside the football club.
‘I think it will be the same thing in Manchester United as in Nice. They want to construct a galaxy like Red Bull or the City Football Group. Jim is a business person and businessman but I think and know that he also loves Manchester United.’