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Wednesday, 03 July 2024 17:21

Man United to cut 250 jobs as Sir Jim Ratcliffe continues Old Trafford cost-cutting.

By Simon Stone.

Manchester United are to cut 250 jobs as part of a determination to slash costs and scrap some "non-essential" activities.

United director Sir Dave Brailsford has led a wide-ranging review of club operations since Ineos’ co-ownership of the club was confirmed in December.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe had already told staff of his desire for them to return to working from club premises.

However, club sources now say financially significant transformation is required to halt the steepling rise in year-on-year costs.

The review has concluded, structure-wise, the size and shape of the club does not reflect the current football performance and they have more staff than they need.

Sources say cost savings have been identified around "non-essential" activities, which are to cease.

It is yet to be clarified what these activities are, but the aim is to reduce headcount and employee costs. United have 1,150 full-time members of staff.

Interim chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc delivered news of the cuts at an all-staff meeting with around 800 people present.

The move is bound to be greeted negatively, with many pointing out poor recruitment around the first team has wasted far more money than will be saved by cutting the rank and file workforce.

Two years ago former chief executive Richard Arnold was filmed telling a group of fans that United had "burned through" £1bn on players, to achieve very little.

United last won the Premier League in 2012-13. In the intervening period they have spent £1.5bn on new players, very few of whom have proved to be good value.

The club have had a £35m bid for Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite turned down this summer and are keen to bring in two central defenders and an additional forward player.

In addition, United have just committed £50m to the development of its Carrington training ground, which in the short term has led to the women’s team vacating the new facility constructed for them so it can be used by Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Ratcliffe said in a recent interview with Bloomberg that it had been "an interesting six months" since he bought the club and it was "not going to be a short journey" to put United on the right path.

"It hasn't kept up with the modern world," he added. "Some of the practices are not at the level they should be for the biggest football club in the world."

In the spring it was confirmed that a task force, which includes Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and former United captain Gary Neville, had been appointed to look into the financial viability of building a new stadium close to the current site at Old Trafford.

United officials privately say the decision to cut staff has not been taken lightly and all areas of the club will be affected, with the exception of the charitable arm, the Manchester United Foundation.

They say alternatives were considered but the impact would not have been long-lasting. A formal process to propose redundancies will now commence.