What’s the point in being Britain’s richest man if hardly anyone knows about it? Jim Ratcliffe has held this prestigious title for several months, but he’s still less famous than people who have never done anything with their lives, like Adam Woodyatt. Or Matt Jarvis.
Jim Ratcliffe would like to see Matt Jarvis start up a chemical engineering firm and turn it into a multi-billion pound company. That’s what Jim Ratcliffe did, but unlike Matt Jarvis he doesn’t get the adulation of the fans, or women throwing themselves at him in the street, or an England cap. All he gets is money.
And how do you turn money into fame? Simple: you buy a football club. Ideally, Chelsea.
Fifteen years ago, Roman Abramovich was Russia’s Jim Ratcliffe. Now, Jim Ratcliffe wants to be Britain’s Roman Abramovich.
The Mail reports that the 65-year-old boss of multinational petrochemicals giant Ineos – who also happens to be a season ticket holder at Stamford Bridge – has “expressed an interest” in purchasing the Blues.
It has recently been alleged that Abramovich could be prepared to sell the club after getting in a pickle with UK immigration authorities, but the freshly Israelified oligarch is said to have politely “rejected” Ratcliffe’s offer.
And he’s not even a Chelsea fan, by the way. The only reason Ratcliffe has that season ticket is because he’s got a house around the corner from the ground. He actually supports Manchester United. All wrong on so many levels.
But to boost Ratcliffe’s case, he has just received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Can’t see Abramovich getting one of those – they won’t even give him a visa.
Hitch in Liverpool’s Nabil Fekir move
Liverpool’s £53m move for Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir, which looked all done and dusted, is now “in doubt” following the player’s medical.
The Telegraph says some “concerns have materialised” about the player’s fitness but the Reds have “given no indication of the problem”. Their caution could, of course, backfire if Fekir goes on to boss the World Cup with France and his value doubles. This would be funny.
Liverpool are also close to signing the Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who the Star says will be allowed to leave the Potters “if the price is right”. Although given that the Swiss has a widely reported £12m release clause, Stoke won’t have much choice deciding how right the price is.
Meanwhile, Merseyside legend Wayne Rooney appears to be edging towards a move to MLS side DC United after he was spotted at the US Consulate in Belfast applying for his visa (Mirror). Why he went all the way to Belfast to do this is a mystery.
Elsewhere, Tottenham duo Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli are set to follow Harry Kane in signing lucrative new contracts at White Hart Lane (Mirror), Athletic Bilbao want Man Utd’s Ander Herrera and are prepared to make the midfielder their highest paid player (AS) and Real Madrid will offer Paris Saint-Germain £307m to sign Neymar, one year after he moved to Paris for £198m (Sun). Bizarrely, this would make PSG’s world record purchase last summer the most economical bit of business any football club has ever done.