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Sir Jim Ratcliffe was asked why he kept Erik ten Hag at Manchester United during new interview

Sir Jim Ratcliffe was asked why he kept Erik ten Hag at Manchester United during new interview

Man Utd co-owner Ratcliffe spoke about Ten Hag during The Times CEO Summit.

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has explained the decision to keep Erik ten Hag in his position as first-team manager.

Two-and-a-half weeks after United beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final, it was finally confirmed that Ten Hag would remain in charge at Old Trafford following an end-of-season review.

The Dutchman was under a huge amount of scrutiny after finishing eighth in the league, which was the club's worst-ever Premier League finish.

As a result, United's owners INEOS are said to have held talks with several managers over potentially replacing Ten Hag, including Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino.

But it was concluded that the preference of both parties was for his tenure to continue – a decision Ratcliffe was asked about as he spoke at The Times CEO Summit this week.

When asked to explain his reasoning for keeping faith with Ten Hag, the British billionaire said: "Erik? Because he’s a good coach. He was very good at Ajax. He was actually at Bayern Munich..."

Ratcliffe was then cut off mid-sentence as another question was fired his way. "Does the success of Manchester United come down to the choice of coach", asked the interviewer.

Ratcliffe replied: “The man in the street likes to think that the coach is everything and that everything revolves around the coach, and maybe it did in the days of Alex Ferguson.

“But if you look at those 11 seasons at Manchester United we’ve had a whole series of coaches, and some of them are very good ones, we’ve probably had seven coaches and none of them have succeeded at all.

“You can’t prescribe the root of the problem to the coach. It’s the environment they’re working in. That’s where we are putting our efforts — the management, the practices, the quality of the people, all those types of things that we have to address at Manchester United — which is what we would do in [any] business.”

Ratcliffe's comments come just days after he said the coach "isn't the central issue at Manchester United" during an interview with Bloomberg.

He added: “It’s a sports club. It needs to be competitive, it needs a degree of intensity, but with a supportive side to it because you are dealing with players who are relatively young. It hasn’t had that type of environment historically.”

Last week, Ten Hag opened up on his future at United as he joined Dutch broadcaster NOS for the Euro 2024 clash between England and Serbia.

"Manchester United and I still have to find an agreement for the new contract," he said. "This isn't easily done, we are still going to have to talk about this.

"United have told me that they spoke with [Thomas] Tuchel, but they eventually came to the conclusion that they already have the best manager."

Ten Hag masterminded United to FA Cup glory. Image credit: Getty
Ten Hag masterminded United to FA Cup glory. Image credit: Getty

Ten Hag also confirmed that he met with club officials in Ibiza to speak about his future.

"Manchester United disturbed my holiday, they suddenly stood at my doorstep. They flew to me in Ibiza," he said.

"INOES took their time. They are new in football, it's normal to reflect the season. It's no secret that they talked with multiple candidates.

"Here in Holland this is 'not done,' in fact, it's not even allowed here. But in England they have different rules and laws.

"As in any organisation, and that seems very sensible to me, there is an evaluation. Conclusions were drawn from there. The new leadership is playing football for the first time."

Featured Image Credit: talkSPORT/YouTube - Getty Images

Topics: Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Erik Ten Hag, Premier League, Manchester United