Ex-OGC Nice boss Adrian Ursea gives Man United fans exciting insight into Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Man United News And Transfer News
Former OGC Nice coach and caretaker manager Adrian Ursea has strongly hinted that Sir Jim Ratcliffe could bring good fortunes to Manchester United and help overturn the situation at the club.
Ursea was appointed as temporary Nice boss following the sacking of Patrick Viera in December 2020 after a run of poor results that put the French outfit firmly in danger of being relegated.
Initially, Ursea served as an assistant coach but was forced to step up massively after Viera’s departure.
He masterminded a sensational escape as Nice beat the drop and preserved their top-flight status.
At the moment, Nice who are owned by Sir Jim’s INEOS company are top of Ligue 1 and remain unbeaten after 12 games. They’re just one point above reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain.
As Sir Jim closes in on a 25% partial investment into United that will essentially make him a minority owner of the Red Devils, Ursea spoke to The Mirror and gave some valuable insight into the British businessman and how he runs a football team.
Ursea said, “The biggest difference was the club became certain there would no longer be problems with money. The first time I was there there were huge financial problems but once INEOS arrived – they went. I saw Jim sometimes but he only visited training sessions once or twice – not more.”
“We never felt the pressure about Jim because in this period I saw much more of his brother Bob. I only saw Jim three or four times overall. It was clear that the big boss of the first-team during that situation was our director of football, Julien Fournier.”
Before he vacated his post in 2022, Fournier served as Nice’s sporting director. He worked closely with club president Jean-Pierre Rivere and Sir Jim’s brother Bob Ratcliffe, who has since stepped down from his role as INEOS’ head of football operations.
Ursea added, “After I left, INEOS began spending more money on transfers. They spent around €60million in the market. Before, the club wouldn’t permit a transfer that cost more than €5m or €6m. Then Nice started to have the power to spend up to €15m on players because with INEOS the money was there. It was very important to save the situation.”
“Relegation would have been a catastrophe for the club. Maybe INEOS would have left, I honestly don’t know. I’m very proud that we saved the situation with our players, staff and president because it was a really, really, difficult period.”
In France, there are genuine fears that Sir Jim’s and INEOS’ involvement at Old Trafford could potentially see Nice take a backseat and become slightly neglected.
However, Ursea rubbished such concerns and indicated that the petrochemical giants are still committed to their long-term vision at the Allianz Riviera.