The news that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 27.7 percent minority shareholding purchase has been completed was music to the ears of Manchester United supporters.

Apart from getting free daily spins on Jackpotjoy or hearing that the Glazer family had relinquished full control, there was little else that United fans wanted more right now.

However, while Ratcliffe’s arrival at Old Trafford is undoubtedly a positive step for the club, it would be foolish for fans to get too far ahead of themselves.

Ratcliff admitted as much earlier this week in an interview with Belgian newspaper De Tijd (h/t the Guardian), in which he claimed the club must embark on a swift culture transformation.

“We have to look at the organisation of the club, because it is not good at the moment,” Ratcliffe said. “Take the head coach (Erik ten Hag) for example – he must report directly to the CEO. That is no longer possible in a modern football organisation.

“We then have to ensure that the right people end up in the right positions. Every person in management must be world-class. And then it is important to create a positive, supportive, friendly and high-quality environment.

“That culture was missing before. Only in such an environment can you get the best out of sportsmen. If successful, the results will follow automatically. That’s the plan and I believe in it.”

Ratcliffe’s initial moves to change the culture at United appear to be positive, with the impending appointment of Omar Berrada as chief executive a major step forward.

Berrada has been an influential figure for local rivals Manchester City and his switch to Old Trafford is viewed as a significant coup for the club.

Potential moves for Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth and Southampton’s director of football Jason Wilcox are further signs that Ratcliffe has his head screwed on.

Whatever the off-field structure looks like once Ratcliffe has got the people he wants in place, United fans must recognise that it will take time for things to bed down.

Culture changes in organisations as big as United rarely happen overnight, particularly when the owners have allowed things to slide for significant periods of time.

That point clearly applies to United under the Glazers – a group of people who still retain majority control of the club despite Ratcliffe’s hefty investment.

Based on his early days at the club, it appears that Ratcliffe is being allowed to implement a much-needed culture change. Whether that comes to long-term fruition remains to be seen.

The first order of business for Ratcliffe’s new off-field set-up will be to address a recruitment process which has left a lot to be desired in recent years.

While United have plenty of talented players at their disposal, a seemingly endless succession of bad buys has left several sizeable holes in the squad.

Shifting out the deadwood has become a common theme at United over the past few years, yet another cull of underperformers is needed before the club can make progress.

However, given the previous track record of the executives targeted by Ratcliffe, there is every chance that United can get their squad back to where it needs to be.

This is unlikely to happen overnight, which hammers home why United fans must remain patient over the next two or three transfer windows.

In the short-term, staying in contention to qualify for the Champions League should be the primary aim for this season and the next campaign.

Winning a domestic trophy would also be a nice bonus, giving the fans some semblance that things are heading in the right direction with Ratcliffe in charge of football affairs.

From the 2025/26 season onwards, patience should be off the table. Eighteen months and three transfer windows should be enough time for a club of United’s stature to resolve their on-field issues.

Mounting a sustained challenge to Manchester City or whichever other clubs are in the title race must be the minimum requirement for that campaign.

In an ideal world the season would end with the Premier League crown heading back to Old Trafford, but it is probably unwise to look that far down the line.

The spectre of the Glazers still hangs over the club like a vulture, and anyone who has encountered one of those knows that scenario rarely ends well.

Putting that issue to one side for the moment, United fans should be able to look forward to a brighter future now Ratcliffe has got his foot in the door.

What happens once he has got his feet under the table at Old Trafford will be the crucial part in determining whether the future is a successful one or otherwise.