Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has completed his takeover of Team Sky and will bid to continue their dominance within cycling.
Ratcliffe, a keen cyclist who boasts a net worth of £21 billion, looked into the possibility of buying Chelsea Football Club last year but has now turned his attention to Team Sky.
Sky have enjoyed plenty of success under the guidance of Sir Dave Brailsford over the past decade and have had one of their riders win the Tour de France in each of the last four years.
Brailsford will keep control of the team and in a quest to guide them to more success, despite the cloud that currently hangs over them in regards to allegations of doping.
There will be one significant change to the team following the deal, though, the name.
After ten years under the ‘Sky’ brand, Ratcliffe will change the name of the team to ‘Team Ineos’ after his petrochemicals company.
Due to the controversy surrounding the team, it is a bit of a coup that they’ve managed to secure the new ownership. Sky have a yearly budget of £30 million, the largest in the sport.
It does seem as though location has played a part in the deal, last year Ratcliffe moved to the tax-free principality of Monaco, where many Team Sky riders, including Chris Froome, are also based.
Former Team Sky rider and Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins has backed the takeover.
“Well it’s obviously great news for everyone at Sky, and the riders. It’s never a nice distraction to have at this stage of the year thinking about talking to your manager about where you’re going to go next year and what kind of money you’ll be on, it’s a big stress,” Wiggins said on his Eurosport podcast.
“Dave (Dave Brailsford – Team Sky principal) will want to retain control and it’s Dave’s way in terms of the way he manages the team, the way he’s set the team up and I think he would have been reluctant to have another multi-national company that came in and wanted it for the advertisement, to get their name out there but would want the control.
“So, it’s an ideal situation for Dave because he can continue running out this team with all his plans and philosophies and he’s answerable, you’d imagine, to one man who it’s his money and it’ll certainly help that team.”