Manchester United staff

Jim Ratcliffe Imposes Remote Work Ban at Manchester United due to “Email Traffic”

Manchester United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe has imposed a ban on the work-from-home culture for the club’s non-playing support staff, citing unusual and strange ’email traffic’ as reasons to back his decision. United had introduced a flexible remote work policy for the support staff during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to continue their work from the comfort of home.

However, the new co-owners of the Premier League outfit, Ratcliffe and INEOS, have decided to put an end to this culture with immediate effect. According to local UK media reports, this decision was pronounced during an all-staff conference meeting held in person and through video calls during his tour of Old Trafford and the club’s training facility, Carrington.

Main Reason Behind Remote Work Ban at Manchester United

When Ratcliffe introduced his decision to end the work-from-home culture at Manchester United, he informed more than 1000 employees that the drop in ’email traffic’ exceeded 20% during the experimentation with remote work at one of his IT companies, leading to his new decision.

Ratcliffe also expressed his belief that having all staff at the office would result in increased productivity and unity. Furthermore, he told the club’s employees, ‘If you don’t like it (working from the office), please seek alternative employment.’

What next for Manchester United Employees

Jim Ratcliffe’s decision has received mixed reactions from the Manchester United support staff, who were reportedly bemused after being suddenly told to change their working practices. Implementing this policy may prove difficult, given the limited space in Manchester and at the club’s London facility to accommodate approximately 1000 employees and other ongoing activities on these premises.

A report from the Evening Standard indicates that a new working group has been established in the English club to facilitate the smooth introduction of Ratcliffe’s policy. The most challenging phase for this group will likely involve dealing with employees who live far from London and Manchester, as well as staff on flexible contracts who do not typically work from the office.

The Bigger Picture

Ratcliffe and his INEOS group’s recent decision demonstrates their significant influence, surpassing initial expectations set during their takeover of Manchester United a few months ago. Initially tasked with overseeing the ‘management of football operations’ only, Ratcliffe’s company now appears to wield broader influence within the Premier League club.

During his recent visit to the club, Ratcliffe expressed dissatisfaction with what he perceived as subpar standards and untidiness in the office, labeling the level of service as a ‘disgrace.’ Reports suggest he’s conducting a comprehensive structural assessment at the club ahead of the arrival of the new chief executive, Omar Berrada, in June, who comes from Manchester City.

This scrutiny isn’t new for the club’s dressing rooms and training facility. Just months ago, Cristiano Ronaldo also criticized the sorry state of these facilities in an interview after departing United. Many speculate that the declining standards at the club are the primary motivation behind Ratcliffe’s decision to end remote work.

Following Erik ten Hag’s appointment as manager, United’s performance has failed to meet expectations. Despite winning only one trophy, the Carabao Cup, in two years under his stewardship, United’s Premier League standing has been disappointing. A third-place finish last year was overshadowed by poor form this season, including a humiliating 0-7 defeat to Liverpool and a recent 0-4 loss to Crystal Palace, eroding confidence among fans and prompting the higher authorities to implement new strategies in pursuit of progress.

Ratcliffe has previously highlighted Manchester United’s underdevelopment compared to rivals like Manchester City and Liverpool, underscoring the need for change within the club. Many believe that this new policy to change the work culture will be followed by a few more new rules and regulations in the upcoming months. It is for sure that United are going to witness a lot of changes regarding their football operations.

Also Read: