LONDON: Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25pc stake in Manchester United has been approved by the Premier League.

The $1.25bn deal, in which the INEOS chairman will also invest $300m into club infrastructure and take charge of the club’s football operations, was struck in December but still faced hurdles, including Premier League approval after consideration under its owners’ and directors’ rules.

A statement said: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25 per cent of Manchester United FC, and further investment of $300 million in the club, has been approved by the Premier League Board following the completion of the OADT.

“The Board agreed to the change of the club’s ownership structure last week, and this has now been officially ratified by an Independent Oversight Panel. The Premier League’s Owners Charter has also been signed. The Premier League now awaits confirmation of the transaction’s completion.”

The Football Association still needs to rubber-stamp the 71-year-old’s investment in United but that is seen as a formality ahead of the extended February 17 deadline to finalise the deal.

Shares in the club rose 8% on the New York Stock Exchange, on course for their best one-day percentage gain since Aug. 7.

Lifelong supporter Ratcliffe’s purchase ended more than a year of uncertainty after majority owners, the Glazer family, said in November 2022 they were looking at strategic options for investment into the club they took control of in 2005.