The Ineos founder is currently waiting for Premier League approval to ratify his £1.3billion deal to buy a minority stake at Old Trafford, with the agreement also securing control of sporting matters.
Ratcliffe attended United’s last home game, a 2-2 draw against Tottenham, and revealed to journalists that the deal should be rubberstamped within a month.
‘Early to mid-Feb, we hope,’ said Britain’s second-richest man when asked for a timeframe. ‘We hope they don’t find anything dodgy in our CV!’
Majority owners the Glazer family stand to be the biggest beneficiaries of the deal, but other members of United’s much-criticised hierarchy are also in line for a windfall.
According to The Times, two senior executives will be handed seven-figure bonuses from the sale while ex-CEO Woodward is also poised to cash in.
Patrick Stewart, who has been interim chief executive since late last year, and chief financial officer Cliff Baty will both earn bonuses equivalent to twice their annual salary.
Given that Stewart’s predecessor, Richard Arnold, earned £1.9m per year, the bonus Stewart receives could be more than £3m.
With Ratcliffe offering $33 per share (around £25), a figure that is 63 per cent higher than the price on the New York Stock Exchange, Woodward is also expected to secure himself a bumper payday.
According to the most recent records, the former CEO still has just over 550,000 shares.
If he sells 25 per cent of his stock, that would amount to around $4.55million (£3.6m) while still leaving him with 75% of his old shareholding.
Confirmation of the bonuses for Stewart and Baty appeared in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that was released last week.
The pertinent paragraphs read: ‘In December 2023, we entered into amendments to our existing employment agreements with Patrick Stewart, our interim chief executive officer and general counsel, and Cliff Baty, our chief financial officer, to, among other things, provide for the payment of a completion bonus following the occurrence of the closing.
‘Each completion bonus is equal to two times the annual salary of such executive officer as of the date of the closing.’
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