Rory McIlroy has claimed that he would be open to the idea of owning a piece of Manchester United Football Club, his boyhood club.
Last week it was reported that Britain's richest man, Jim Ratcliffe, was set to buy a 25% stake in England's biggest and most famous football club.
Ratcliffe's proposed deal will see him take over the football operations at the club and take power from the Glazer family, who have held it since 2005.
McIlroy has already made a number of investments in sport and is now part of a £173 million strategic investment deal led by consortium Otro Capital in Alpine. He joins the likes of former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, Liverpool and England star Trent Alexander-Arnold, and World Cup winner Juan Mata in the deal.
On Sunday evening, McIlroy was spotted by one of Sky Sports' reporters at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. The Hollywood native was asked about the Ratcliffe deal to buy his boyhood club Manchester United and if he would consider investing too if the opportunity ever arose.
🗣️ Rory McIlroy says he turned down the chance to invest in Leeds because he's a Manchester United fan. McIlroy says he's open to buying a small #MUFC stake.
"[49ers Enterprises] asked me if I wanted to come on board [at Leeds] and I was like, as a Man Utd fan, I can't go… pic.twitter.com/eOnEvna744
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) October 22, 2023
"I would love to be able to own a tiny percentage of the club I grew up cheering on as a boy," said McIlroy.
“I would have loved to have taken 0.00001 percent of Manchester United when Jim Ratcliffe took 25 per cent. And if another opportunity comes my way, I will look at it. But it is not something that has come across our table as of yet."
The Ryder Cup winner also backed Ratcliffe to turn the sinking ship that is Manchester United, if he did indeed successfully buy the club from the Glazer family.
“There is Tom Brady at Birmingham and there are a few golfers – Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas – who invested with the 49ers Group, and they own a tiny slice of Leeds. They asked me if I wanted to come on board, and I said as a Manchester United fan, I cannot go anywhere near that.
“Sir Jim has got a great track record, and everybody that supports United should be excited by the possibilities if they give him full sporting authority and decision-making power for the club. As a fan, I am excited.”