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Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe chided employees in a scathing email obtained by The Athletic’s Adam Crafton on Friday, with the 71-year-old calling one untidy area of the club’s training facilities a “disgrace.”

Ratcliffe reportedly pinpointed the club’s IT department as the worst he witnessed during his visit from earlier this week, while adding that the dressing rooms for the under-18 and under-21 teams were not far behind in their uncleanliness.

Ratcliffe, who owns petrochemical company INEOS, apparently implied that he could cancel Christmas parties and other rewards if employees fail to commit to higher standards.

Some employees were stunned to receive such an accusatory email on a Friday afternoon, according to Crafton. Others reportedly saw it as a much-needed wake-up call after years of coasting.

Cristiano Ronaldo made similarly disparaging comments about the state of United’s facilities before leaving the club in November 2022, saying little had changed since he made his initial debut two decades prior.

“Since Sir Alex Ferguson left, I saw no evolution in the club. The progress was zero. Nothing changed,” Ronaldo said at the time. “Not the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym, even some points of technology, the kitchen, the chefs, which are lovely persons. They stopped in time, which surprised me a lot.”

Many fans have clamored for much-needed repairs at Old Trafford. The stadium was left off the list of venues to stage Euro 2028 matches amid high-profile complaints about its leaky roof and poor acoustics.

Ratcliffe is already reshaping United’s front office. Former Manchester City executive Omar Berrada is set to take over as CEO, former City academy director Jason Wilcox has joined as technical director, and Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is a reported target. Ratcliffe has also assembled a task force to build a “world-class” stadium.


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