A former Man United director has said he is leading a consortium which plans to buy the club from the Glazers, who he has describes as ‘useless’.
The Glazers took majority control of Man United in 2005, in a deal worth nearly £800 million. Because of the takeover financing, the Glazers received heavy criticism at the time. Loans to buy the club were mainly secured against the club’s assets, something the Premier League is now planning to stop.
In recent years, United fans have targeted the Glazer family over a perceived lack of investment in playing staff, and the club’s facilities. That includes Old Trafford. Tensions increased further when the club’s owners attempted to take them into the ill-fated European Super League in 2020. This was done without consulting fans.
On Sunday, fans staged an ‘anti-Glazer march’ outside Old Trafford. This happened before United’s opening game of the Premier League season against Brighton.
Discontent against the ownership, therefore, remains very high. However, one former director thinks he has come up with a possible situation.
Ex-Man United director wants to buy the club
The ex-director in question is Michael Knighton, who some United fans will likely know very well.
Knighton, now 70 years of age, attempted to buy the club back in 1989, alongside a group of investors. He had a bid of £20 million accepted by then-chairman Martin Edwards, and even appeared at a game, dressed in complete United kit, during half-time.
However, the takeover fell through after the other investors pulled out of the deal. Knighton later pulled out himself to take a seat on the board.
He bought Carlisle United in 1992. The Knighton regime saw initial success, with Carlisle promoted from the Third Division.
The Cumbrians would experience several promotions and relegations in the following years, as well as reaching a Football League Trophy final.
However, in 1997, they dropped down to the Fourth Division. Knighton had appointed himself as manager of the team mid-season, but couldn’t keep them up.
Bizarrely, a year earlier, the Carlisle News & Star newspaper printed an article claiming that Knighton had spoken to aliens. He denied the claims, and the newspaper later printed a full apology.
Eventually, Carlisle went into voluntary administration in 2002, and Knighton went on to sell the club. Towards the end of his reign, an independent supporters’ trust was formed, partially to protest against his control of the club.
Now, 20 years on, he wants to get back into football – by purchasing Man United from the Glazers.
He explained (quotes via Daily Mirror): “We are a club in crisis, and we all know the reason why. We have an inept and, quite frankly, useless ownership who know little about this game of football.
“Everyone knows that we need new ownership of this football club, and that is my aim, and those are my objectives. I am making good progress, continuing to talk to the people. I have got some good pledges and good finance.
“We are now working on the offer document. Remember, it is a hostile bid – that simply means that the club isn’t officially for sale. But my intention is to present these owners with a legitimate, potent and commercial offer to say: ‘You have run out of road. It’s time to go, because your time is up’.”
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