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How Could Ineos Improve Man Utd This Season?

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Man Utd’s 25% sale to Sir Jim Ratcliffe was finally completed last Friday night in the US, coming on the heels of the Premier League’s Valentine’s Day ratification of the sale. Hence, the British billionaire’s Ineos Group could take over football operations at the Manchester giants as early as this week. 

With the winter transfer window already closed, many ask what the takeover will mean for Man Utd before the summer. With a recent upturn in Premier League form, The Red Devils currently occupy sixth position on the EPL table but remain five points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur in fourth, the final qualifying position for the UEFA Champions League.

Failing to qualify for the Champions League will impact Man Utd’s summer spending budget, despite the presence of Ratcliffe’s additional funding, so Ineos’ primary target over the remaining league fixtures will be to improve United’s of sealing the hallowed fourth spot on the table before the 2023/24 Premier League season ends.

With Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal seemingly sure of claiming their berths in Europe’s premier competition already, the battle is on for the final qualifying position. According to the top sports betting sites listed on Safest Betting Sites, Man Utd has a 13/2 chance of making fourth position in the league its own, although Tottenham (4/7) and Aston Villa (9/4) remain more favoured at this stage.

These odds provide the best indicator of the respective teams’ chances because, as Safest Betting Sites senior betting writer Peter Addison says, “We run the rule over the best sites and apps to bet on football online, analysing which sites to trust for the best footy odds, product features, free bets and promotions.” (source: )

A further incentive for the Man Utd gaffer and his squad is that, with England having an 82.1% chance of claiming one of the top two positions in UEFA’s yearly coefficients ranking, a fifth EPL team could still qualify for the Champions League.

With Erik ten Hag’s side unbeaten in 2024, the Dutch manager’s position seems secure for the remainder of the season, unless the club’s playing form takes a drastic downturn in future matches. Whether a fifth-place EPL finish and Champions League qualification through the performances of rival teams would save his job is another question. 

ten Hag’s chances of remaining as manager at the season’s end will remain tenuous in the interim, no matter where Man Utd finishes, as rumours of player dissatisfaction with the former Ajax manager’s man management continue to surface.

Former Scottish international and Man Utd midfielder Alan Brazil said recently in the press:

“Unless Manchester United go on a remarkable run, I still think Erik ten Hag will be gone by the end of the season. I honestly don’t think that the players are having him. There’s always a chance that winning silverware, maybe the FA Cup could be enough to keep him in the job though.‌

But the last few games, including that win over Aston Villa, have been a bit better so we’ll see. The whispers I’m hearing are the players are not having him. They say he has no man-management skills whatsoever.”

Ultimately, the decision lies with Ratcliffe and Ineos, who will likely further negotiate the potential signing of Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth as Man Utd’s new Director of Football, possibly to assist ten Hag in repairing relationships with the parts of the dressing room he has been losing.