Following the confirmation that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has acquired a 27.7% stake in Manchester United, the British billionaire has spoken to the press about what has to change to get the club back to where it should be.

It’s not a light switch. it’s not one of these things that changes overnight. We have to be careful we don’t rush at it, you don’t want to run to the wrong solution rather than walk to the correct solution. We have two issues – one is the longer term, getting Manchester United to where we would like to get it but there’s also the shorter term of getting the most out of the club as it stands today. We would like to see the Champions League for next season if we can. The key challenge here is that longer term we need to do things well and properly, and thoroughly, so it’s not an overnight change. It’s going to take two or three (seasons). You have to ask the fans for some patience.

What you need are the foundations to be in a good place for Manchester United to be successful, which means you need the right organisational structure. It means not having a coach reporting to the chief executive for instance.

Then we need to populate all the key roles with people who are best in class, 10 out of 10s, and there’s clearly a lot of interest in these roles in Manchester United, because it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world but also it’s one of the biggest challenges, because you’re taking it from a difficult place to hopefully where it should be at the top of the pyramid.

Thirdly, you need to create this environment which is driven and competitive. It is going to be intense at times, but equally it needs to have warmth and friendliness and be a supportive structure because the two things marry together well. They probably haven’t had that environment for the last 10 years. If we get those three things right, then you have to believe the results will follow.

Ratcliffe recognises that while it will take time to turn things around, his plan is to get United back to their best by 2028.

It’s not a 10 year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three year plan to get there. To think that we’re going to be playing football as good as Manchester City played against Real Madrid last season by next year is not sensible. And if we give people false expectations, then they will get disappointed. So the key thing is our trajectory, so that people can see that we’re making progress. I think it’s the club’s 150-year anniversary in 2028 … if our trajectory is leading to a very good place in that sort of timeframe then we’d be very happy with that. Because it’s not easy to turn Manchester United into the world’s best football team.

The ultimate target for Manchester United – and it’s always going to be thus, really – is that we should be challenging for the Premier League and challenging for the Champions League. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. There’s six who are probably the six biggest clubs in Europe – three in the northwest, two in Spain and one in Germany. United should be in that small group. It hasn’t been for a while. And so therefore, it must be challenging for the Premier League. And if we’re not, then in a way, we’re not doing what we saying we ought to do.