Inside Man Utd-bound Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Nice transformation, including meticulous FIVE-HOUR manager interview

6 months ago 63

SIR JIM RATCLIFFE’S incredible transformation at Nice came after their managerial search saw them conduct a FIVE-HOUR interview with Italian coach Francesco Farioli.

Farioli, 34, took over the French side in the summer and has guided them to second place in the Ligue 1 table, just one point adrift of Paris Saint-Germain.

Sir Jim Ractliffe, left, and Sir Dave Brailsford, right, have led a transformation at NiceRex
Francesco Farioli was appointed Nice boss after a five-hour interview with club bossesAlamy

They are also one of just three teams in Europe’s top five leagues who remain unbeaten – along with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich.

But prior to being appointed as boss, Farioli’s only previous roles came in Turkey with Faith Karagumruk and Alanyaspor.

And Ratcliffe, who is set to claim a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United, put managerial candidates through rigorous interviews before making a decision.

This included meetings with Ineos director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford and Ineos Sport CEO Jean-Claude Blanc – both of whom are tipped to join Man Utd following Ratcliffe’s arrival.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Farioli said: “They made an analysis with data and from the filter appeared some of the names, and I was one of the names. If I’m not wrong, it was in January or if not before.

“At the end of the season, when they changed coach, I had my first interview with the sporting director Florent Ghisolfi and Dave (Brailsford, director of sport at Ineos).

“It was quite a long interview, like five hours or something. It was a really good introduction and the day after, I had an interview with Jean-Claude Blanc (chief executive of Ineos Sport).

“I had one more meeting with Florent, the CEO and the president of Nice. A lot of meetings and a lot of hours, but I felt very happy because they gave me the opportunity to express myself.


“They were very, very prepared about everything and they were really aware of who they had in front of them.”

One of Ratcliffe’s first pieces of business will be to replace CEO Richard Arnold – who has already confirmed his departure from Old Trafford.

United board member and chief legal counsel Patrick Stewart is temporary CEO, with Arnold set to leave next month.

Crystal Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman is in the frame for a similar role when Ratcliffe takes over sporting control at Old Trafford.

He has helped Palace sign the likes of Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi and Cheick Doucoure.

But Ratcliffe’s right-hand man is set to be Brailsford – who made his name as British Cycling’s performance director.

He then became boss of Team Sky in 2010 – an outfit eventually taken over by Ratcliffe four years ago.

Since then, Brailsford has branched out to become Ineos’ director of sport and has been integral to Nice’s development.

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