[QODLink]
Sport
Financiers mull bid for Man Utd
Investors discus possible takeover despite US owner's claims club is not for sale.
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2010 16:59 GMT
Malcolm Glazer's 2005 leveraged takeover has seen the club's debt rise to $1.1bn [AFP]
 

A group of financiers known as the Red Knights have begun discussions on a possible takeover bid for the heavily-indebted Manchester United Football club.

The group, which appears determined to oust the club's US owners, the Glazer family, confirmed on Tuesday that they had met to discuss the issue.

The 18-time English champions have been valued at $1.8bn by Forbes, the financial magazine, but the Glazers have consistently insisted that the debt-ridden club is not for sale.

Debt arising from Malcolm Glazer's 2005 leveraged takeover of the club has risen to £716.5m ($1.1bn).

"A group of high net worth individuals, who support Manchester United, met in London yesterday [Monday]," the Red Knights said in a statement.

"This group is supportive of current management, but are looking at the feasibility of putting together a proposal to be put to the Glazer family regarding the ownership of Manchester United."

True colours

The discussions, which are in their early stages, are being led by Keith Harris, a football deal broker and the chairman of investment bankers Seymour Pierce, and Jim O'Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs.

The group's statement said they saw the Manchester United Supporters Trust (Must) as the a key to success in their takeover attempts.

The United supporters group has stepped up its campaign in recent week to force the Glazers out of Old Trafford, notably by getting fans to wear green and gold - the colours of Newton Heath, the club's original name.

Duncan Drasdo, the Must chief executive, said on Tuesday: "Initially the Red Knight Group has effectively set a challenge to Manchester United supporters to demonstrate they wish to see an alternative ownership proposal developed.

"In the first instance supporters are being asked to do this simply by joining the free online membership of the Supporters Trust and swelling its ranks to an initial target of at least 100,000 [members]."

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list