Sir Jim Ratcliffe shows hands-on approach with huge Man United decision after Wembley dilemma

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford -Credit:Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has decided to miss the Women's FA Cup final clash between Manchester United and Tottenham at Wembley this afternoon.

The United co-owner was spotted with sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford at Old Trafford hours before the Premier League clash with Arsenal. United Women, meanwhile, are looking to make history and lift the trophy for the first time in their history.

Marc Skinner's side were beaten in last year's final when Chelsea's Sam Kerr earned the 1-0 victory at Wembley. However, they earned revenge on Emma Hayes' side by defeating Chelsea 2-1, thanks to goals from Lucia Garcia and Rachel Williams.

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Spurs, on the other hand, will also be battling to win their first FA Cup trophy. Robert Vilahamn's side reached the final thanks to a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the semi-final. For the first time since 2005, the decider has not featured one of Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City.

In a video released by Sky Sports showing Ratcliffe and Brailsford together, the Red Devils co-owner was seen asking a member of the Old Trafford staff what they were doing, a gesture that highlights his hands-on approach to the club. United will look to return to winning ways after the disappointing 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace earlier this week.

Reach PLC's women’s football writer Beth Lindop, who is covering the FA Cup Final from Wembley for MEN Sport, said of the situation: "If actions speak louder than words, then Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s decision to swerve Wembley this afternoon is deafening. Despite voicing ambitions to make the club best in class in every department, the INEOS boss’ absence at the Women’s FA Cup final reeks of a total disregard for a women’s team that, for too long, has been regarded as an afterthought by one of the biggest footballing institutions in the world.

"It would, of course, be naive to assume that improving the fortunes of the men’s team is not Ratcliffe’s priority and therefore that Erik ten Hag’s side will, more often than not, take precedence over United Women. However, considering this afternoon’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford is essentially a dead rubber for the hosts, it is a bad look for Ratcliffe to favour that over watching Marc Skinner’s side potentially lift the club’s first major women’s trophy."