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Sir Jim Ratcliffe sends message to Man Utd’s women’s team after missing FA Cup final

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe praised the “historic moment” and “wonderful achievement” of the Manchester United women’s team winning the FA Cup for the first time – despite missing the Wembley final to be at Old Trafford to watch the men’s team play against Arsenal.

United defeated Tottenham 4-0 to win the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, but Ratcliffe, the Ineos boss and new minority investor of United, was instead at Old Trafford to watch Erik ten Hag’s side in the Premier League, which kicked off two hours later.

Ratcliffe, who was joined by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at Old Trafford, was at Manchester United’s men’s FA Cup semi-final win over Coventry last month, and is set to be at the men’s final on 25 May when they face Manchester City. On Sunday, United’s men’s team were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal.

At full-time of the FA Cup final, Ratcliffe sent a message to the United women’s team congratulating them on their success. “A proud and historic moment for the team that is testament to their grit, determination and team spirit,” Ratcliffe said in a post that was shared by Ineos on Twitter/X. “A wonderful achievement. Many congratulations.”

Co-owner Avram Glazer was at Wembley, along with a number of other Ineos personnel. Tottenham, meanwhile, were supported by chairman Daniel Levy, as well as club legends such as Ossie Ardilles and Ricky Villa, ahead of the club’s first Women’s FA Cup final.

Manchester United manager Marc Skinner insisted he was not disappointed by Ratcliffe’s absence and said the Ineos chief had sent messages of support to the women’s team ahead of the final.

“Messages have been passed through all the time and it’s constant support,” Skinner said. “The players were messaged, I was messaged this morning and yesterday. It is constant communication.

“We had more than enough representation from our club here and I am only excited about what Sir Jim and everyone will bring to Manchester United.

Labour leader Starmer met with Ratcliffe to discuss the redevelopment of Old Trafford, according to reports. Starmer attended United’s Premier League game against Arsenal as a guest of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who is a member of the task force exploring options for how to revitalise United’s home ground.

Burnham was also present at the talks ahead of kick-off along with Lord Coe, chair of the Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force.

Includes reporting from PA

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