“I’m not sure he exists!”: Man United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe blasts former rival

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has questioned whether Sheikh Jassim is just a mirage. Britain’s richest man beat the Qatari to purchase a 25% stake in Manchester United for £1.3billion.

Ratcliffe went toe-to-toe with Middle Eastern royalty after the Glazers announced they were finally ready to give up control of United. Ratcliffe claims he was always the preferred candidate and rubbed salt in the Qatari’s wounds.

“Still nobody’s ever seen him, actually. The Glazers never met him. I’m not sure he exists!” Ratcliffe said.

“I don’t know (if he was the only bidder). They were obviously there and there was a whole host of people on the team and in the squad. I didn’t ever meet them. But it was it was a very odd affair.”

There were many moments along the 12-month process where Ratcliffe thought he had secured a deal. But he regularly hit road bumps until the formal announcement on Wednesday.

He added: “The transaction was quite challenging. We met all sorts of obstacles on the way. It was obviously a rocky road for quite an extended period of time.

“The Glazers really, from the beginning, preferred ourselves to the Qatari option.

“They sort of stuck with us through the whole process. That rocky road for a year, has sort of forged a relationship between ourselves and the other shareholders.

“We’ve all got to know each other. You get to know people better in adversity than when the whole thing is going swimmingly.”