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£671m figure hands Manchester United vital edge over rivals as Premier League plots FFP alternative

The task for Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United is how to turn around the fortunes on the field of a football club that has suffered from years of neglectful ownership.

As far as minority owners go, it’s hard to think of too many who have had held the kind of sway that Ratcliffe does at Old Trafford. The deal to acquire 28 per cent of the club from the Glazer family in January handed the British billionaire and INEOS founder oversight over football matters and the direction of the club when it comes to stadium redevelopment.

United have been heavy spenders over the past decade, and any notions of not being financially supported to compete are hokum. However, what they haven’t had is any kind of football strategy, played out in a stadium that has been allowed to decline, almost as if representative of the way that the club has been run under the Glazers.

READ MORE: United face expensive Old Trafford decision with Ratcliffe compromise inevitable

READ MORE: Jason Wilcox can bring clarity to a United role that nobody understands

Whether or not United choose to redevelop Old Trafford or build a new stadium on the land adjacent will be cause for discussion for some time yet, but for Ratcliffe part of the plan to return the club, which hasn’t won a Premier League title since 2013, to the summit of the English game has already started.

The landscape is different now, however. It is no longer a case of who can spend the most; it is about who can be smarter with what they have and how they use it.

The Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) have come into sharp focus over the past 12 months, with Everton (twice), Nottingham Forest, and Leicester City all landed with charges for being in breach of PSR, which

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk