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Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has criticised prospective Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s regime at Ligue 1 outfit Nice.
The Failsworth-born billionaire, who owns petrochemical firm INEOS, purchased the French side in 2019 although his time at the club has been something of a mixed bag. Petit’s former teammate Patrick Vieira departed the club as manager just over a year after Sir Jim’s arrival, with Christophe Galtier appointedBut after leading the club to fifth in Ligue 1 and a Coupe de France final, he was subsequently snapped up by European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain. That led to the appointment of former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre last summer, although he was sacked by the club in January with a permanent replacement yet to be installed.
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The club have also brought in the likes of former Premier League stars Kasper Schmeichel, Aaron Ramsey and Ross Barkley in recent years with mixed success. It has led Petit to question Sir Jim’s leadership of the French outfit, with the British billionaire also hoping to take a controlling stake in United in the coming weeks.
Petit told Foot01: “Since INEOS arrived in Nice, I don’t know who makes the decisions.
“I don’t know where they want to go. I don’t know what they want to do with this club, especially since with Manchester United behind us we don’t know if they’re going to pull out overnight. as his replacement.”That’s what puzzles me, actually. A group like INEOS, which manages 17,000 people around the world and has a turnover of 80bn, is not even capable of managing a club like Nice at the moment and having a clear and defined strategy.
“When you take the best sporting director, Ghisolfi at Lens, who made miracles on the transfer market with three francs and six pennies.
“You see today that he is in total disagreement with what we are trying to impose on him concerning the extension of certain players like Ramsey.
“Who is making the decisions? Mr. Ratcliffe, Mr. Blanc, Mr. Rivère, whose silence has been deafening for the past few weeks regarding the affairs. He told us in February: ‘You’ll see, we’ll give you the name of the future coach in February.’
“It’s the end of May and we still don’t know what’s going to happen at Nice with the market coming up quickly. The direction that INEOS and OGC Nice want to take, I have no idea!”Recent reports have suggested that Sir Jim is ‘closing in’ on his purchase of United, although his main rival, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, doesn’t seem to throw in the towel just yet. The Qatari banker has increased his bid for the club in an 11th-hour attempt to beat Sir Jim and become the club’s new owner.
Sheikh Jassim remains committed to taking control of the club from the Glazers, while Sir Jim while Ratcliffe’s group are offering to take over the Glazers’ controlling 69 per cent stake.
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