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22nd Jun 2024

Sir Jim Ratcliffe left ‘fuming’ by Erik ten Hag’s Man United comments during Dutch TV appearance

Ryan Price

Man United manager

Ten Hag described how United officials interrupted his holiday to inform him that he was not going to lose his job.

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is said to be ‘fuming’ with coach Erik Ten Hag following comments he made during a Dutch TV appearance.

The former Ajax manager appeared on football panel programme NOS Studio Sport in his home country last week, where the host asked him for details on how he found out that he was going to be kept on as United boss for another season.

Ten Hag claimed that club officials ‘turned up on his doorstep in Ibiza’ while he was on holiday with his wife to tell him that, while they had conducted a review of other potential managers, they had come to the conclusion that he was the best man for the job.

The 54-year-old was left in the dark for several weeks over whether or not he would have a job by the end of the summer, and some reports suggested that club owners had already made the decision to sack him before his triumphant FA Cup final win over Manchester City at Wembley stadium last month.

The Dutch TV host went on to ask Ten Hag if he was aware that Thomas Tuchel had been sounded out about potentially taking over at Old Trafford, to which the former centre-back replied: “They did tell me that. I don’t think that’s a secret. They have spoken to several candidates.”

Ten Hag referenced a rule in place in the Netherlands whereby owners of a club are not permitted to approach other managers without informing the current head coach of a club first. The same applies for coaches. They can’t liaise with other clubs when they are tied into a contract.

“The rules are a bit different in England,” he said. “But, in the end, they came to the conclusion that they had the best coach.”

According to The Sun, Ratcliffe and co were not happy about Ten Hag’s openness on live television, and would have rathered he kept that kind of information to himself.

It has not been an ideal start for the INEOS group who seized control of United’s footballing affairs earlier this year.

Last month, Dan Ashworth’s email blunder reportedly revealed talks with incoming Man Utd chief Omar Berrada, before the sporting director’s incumbent club, Newcastle United, were officially approached.

It was claimed Ashworth accidentally disclosed talks he’d had with Berrada to fellow Newcastle chiefs after sending a blind copy of a message intended for the incoming United CEO to his work email address.

Ashworth had been placed on gardening leave by the Magpies, who expect a fee of over £10m from United.

The 53-year-old is supposedly keen to make the move to Old Trafford and has a strong relationship with INEOS head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford from his time in a previous role at the Football Association.

Ten Hag hinted at the end of his TV interview that he is yet to agree a contract extension with his United bosses.

He is expected to sign at least another two-year deal with the Premier League club.

The former Bayern Munich II coach has won a trophy in each of his seasons at Manchester United winning the EFL Cup last season and a sensational FA Cup victory in May.