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Sir Jim Ratcliffe can’t hide Newcastle United frustration just minutes after London Marathon finish

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe was pounding the pavements in the London Marathon on Sunday afternoon but still found the time to take a swipe at Newcastle United just minutes after crossing the finish line in the capital.

The British billionaire, who purchased a 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils earlier this year, stopped for an interview with the BBC’s Newcastle-supporting broadcaster Gabby Logan before darting over to Wembley to watch Manchester United reach the FA Cup final in dramatic circumstances.

The 13-time Premier League champions may be on the cusp of more cup success but are still struggling under Erik ten Hag. Meanwhile, Ratcliffe is attempting to put together a crack team of boardroom advisors and transfer specialists as he revamps the recruitment team at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United have confirmed the appointment of Southampton supremo Jason Wilcox as the club’s new technical director but Ashworth remains the top target to arrive as sporting director. However, no agreement has been reached with Newcastle to release the St James’ Park chief from his lengthy period of gardening leave.

Ratcliffe previously labelled Ashworth’s 18-month period on the sidelines as ‘silly’ and urged Newcastle to ‘grow up’ over their firm stance. This time around the 71-year-old remained slightly calmer as he discussed the trouble he faces in hiring his desired targets.

“It’s a long journey really the football because one of the biggest problems is that you get these new guys to come into the team, really capable people, but they are all on gardening leave,” Ratcliffe told Logan after his 4:30:52 marathon run.

“So it takes you six months, a year or 18 months – it’s a real issue in football. They can’t work for us, the fans are impatient and I have some sympathy with that. But it’s a journey and, whether they like it or not, they have to be a bit patient. It’s not a light switch, it takes a bit of time.”

Ashworth continues to sit idly by and wait for progress to be made, while Newcastle are stepping up the search for his eventual replacement. A number of exciting targets have been spoken to in recent weeks, including former Monaco chief Paul Mitchell and Benfica boardroom boss Rui Pedro Braz.

Recruitment specialists Odgers Berndtson have been pivotal to the appointment process and progress is expected to be made in the coming weeks with a view to appointing a new figure to the role by the end of the season.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/sir-jim-ratcliffe-cant-hide-29036656

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