Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘scraps golden Sir Alex Ferguson rule’ as Man Utd crackdown continues | Football | Sport

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly set to break a golden rule introduced by Sir Alex Ferguson as part of his overhaul behind the scenes at Manchester United. The INEOS chief is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to restore former glories after purchasing a minority stake in the club earlier this year.

Ratcliffe has taken a hands-on approach to changing the culture at United, having withdrawn access to private cars for the majority of staff members. He is also said to have ordered those with hybrid working arrangements to return to the office and cancelled the corporate credit cards of heads of department.

The 71-year-old’s newest rule will ban members of staff who do not directly work with the first team from dining in the main training ground canteen, according to the Daily Mail. It is said they will instead be forced to head to a separate area for lunch and will not be able to feast on the ‘high performance food’ enjoyed by players.

Critics of the move are thought to believe that banning members of staff from the canteen will further isolate United’s playing squad from the club’s rank and file. However, others within Old Trafford are said to have backed the switch, feeling that some pose an ‘unwanted distraction’ by latching onto the players.

Ratcliffe’s decision to boot staff from the canteen is directly at odds with the philosophy of Ferguson, who instilled a culture of togetherness during his time at United. He famously ensured that all those who worked for the club, from the millionaire players to the secretaries and tea ladies, ate together in the same space.

In one of his books, Leading, Ferguson explained the importance of making sure that everybody was allowed to use the canteen, a move he made shortly after taking charge of the club in 1986.

He wrote: “I wanted the younger players to be able to mingle and eat lunch with the staff too, including people like the laundry team and groundsmen. I’d been influenced by what I had learned from Marks & Spencer which, decades ago in harder times, had given their staff free lunches because so many of them were skipping lunch so they could save every penny to help their families.

“It probably seems a strange thing for a manager to be getting involved in, the layout of a canteen at a new training ground, but when I think about the tone it set within the club and the way it encouraged the staff and players to interact I can’t overstate the importance of this tiny change.”

It remains to be seen if Ratcliffe’s latest move will have the desired impact, with the United shareholder determined to transform the culture at the club in his pursuit of greatness. His next task will be to decide the future of manager Erik ten Hag, who is waiting to discover if he will keep his job next season with the club yet to conclude their internal review.

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