OGC Nice captain Dante’s criticism of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ownership of the Ligue 1 club have re-emerged ahead of his purchase of a 25% stake in Manchester United.
Ratcliffe’s INEOS company is set to buy a huge stake of Man Utd, purchasing one quarter of the club’s shares at a price of $33 per share, with his minority takeover of the club expected to be announced imminently.
While Man Utd fans are notably joyous over the fact that the influence of the much-derided Glazer family will be lessened at Old Trafford, quotes from a L’Equipe interview with Nice defender Dante have re-emerged which may temper expectations regarding Ratcliffe’s ownership.
Dante is the current Nice captain, and has played for the club owned by Ratcliffe since the 70-year-old purchased the club in 2019.
Speaking about Ratcliffe’s ownership, Dante was keen to criticise INEOS’ management of the Nice “project”, hitting out at the huge amount of transfer incomings and outgoings as something which has hindered the club’s progress in recent years.
“I think at some point you have to be clear in what you’re saying,” he began. “To maintain a project, maybe you need to speak less about objectives and work in silence to create an environment of competitors. Because the expectation is even bigger, and then after, people are frustrated.
“Do you remember how many players came in at the end of the transfer window last summer? Six left, six arrived. It’s difficult in these conditions. Simply, we mustn’t make the same errors.
“If someone wants my opinion, the earlier we organise ourselves, the better it will be. If we want to aim higher, we have to anticipate things and put the values of the organisation in place.
“When the coach [Lucien Favre] arrived, we said in two years that we would always be in the Champions League. It doesn’t work like that. Ligue 1 is very difficult. We lost ten players, ten arrived. The teams in the semi-finals of big competitions play together for three, four years. We changed everything last summer.
“There is a lack of coherence somewhere. I am sorry to say that.”