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Ineos call for Nice fans to be patient...for now

Publish on 28/08/2019 at 09h00

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OGC Nice fans should not expect immediate success but be patient after Ineos completed their takeover of the Ligue 1 Conforama side, but the club's new owners have vowed to make the Mediterranean outfit a French and European powerhouse.

Patrick Vieira's side will aim to maintain their 100% start to the league season at home to Olympique de Marseille on Wednesday at an Allianz Riviera that will be buzzing with anticipation following Ineos' long-awaited purchase of the club.

Establishing Nice as a force to be reckoned with is the long-term aim of Ineos — owned by the UK's richest man, Jim Ratcliffe — but his brother, Bob, who heads Ineos' football activities, warned the club's supporters they need to curb their enthusiasm for now.

"We have to play down that expectation. As I have said to the fans, we first have to build the foundations, carefully, be patient, because we want to get to a level and stay there. Our short-term project is over three to five years to start playing in European competition and then stay there," said Ratcliffe, who has been running Swiss side Lausanne since Ineos' takeover in November 2017.

"We know the mistakes that we have made. There were some good things and some bad, but now we're going to apply all those lessons at OGC Nice."

With Ineos now in charge, Nice are expected to make signings to strengthen Vieira's squad, but Ratcliffe emphasised the intention of the new owners to make the club a hub of development for youthful talent.

"With the experience from Lausanne, we've seen that bringing through your own players is crucial. We come back to Ineos' values which are to find value and improve it. We will bring through our own players rather than pay for players others have brought through. That's going to be very important in our approach."