Michael Knighton

Former Manchester United director Michael Knighton, who came close to buying Manchester United in the 1980s, claims to be planning an astonishing ‘hostile’ bid to buy out the Glazer family.

The American owners are under increasing pressure to sell the Old Trafford club following a disappointing sixth-place finish in last season’s English Premier League.

Fan groups have protested against their ownership at recent home matches with anti-Glazer chants filling the air.

But 70-year-old Knighton, who famously juggled a ball on the Old Trafford pitch in 1989, is apparently drawing up a bid to buy the Americans out in a hostile takeover.

The Glazers are highly unlikely to sell but Knighton’s offer reflects growing discontent with their ownership.

Knighton told Man United The Religion on YouTube:

We are a club in crisis and we all know the reason why. We have an inept and 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 go, because your time is up’.

And frankly, the fans worldwide have had enough of this regime. The exciting feeling of a new season, which we all have, and that balloon of excitement that is there, it was all burst when we quickly saw the performance against Brighton.

Quite honestly, we could have played the Lionesses and they would have got a better result.

The club is in crisis and it will remain in crisis while we have this current ownership. That is the situation.

The Glazer family, who took over the club in a heavily-leveraged £800m buy-out back in 2005, insist United are not up for sale.

But Knighton added:

We need to rid our football club of this ownership as they have had their day, time has run out and we have had 17 years of disappointment, really. It is time for them to go.

They have to stop drawing these huge dividends out of the club. We have to stop paying these huge debt servicing costs. It is time for them to sell.

Putting this bid together, I don’t need to be the front person, I don’t need to be the spokesperson. I just want to see our Manchester United Football Club in the hands of proper football people with proper vision.

We need to repair our stadium and put our club back where it belongs. Not among these also-rans. We are in crisis and it won’t alter until they go.

We will make a formal hostile bid.

On Sunday ahead of United’s opening English Premier League game against Brighton, thousands of fans protested against the Glazers and forced the megastore at Old Trafford to close for a time.

Knighton added:

Of course they will protest, it is the only way they can vent their frustration. It is the only way they can make the owners finally listen and ultimately decide to sell their shareholding.

My consortium is ready and waiting, the funds have been pledged, the offer document is being drawn up and it will be presented.

We are still waiting for the great Sir Jim Ratcliffe to come forward because he solves all our problems and makes my job redundant.

But until Jim comes, my consortium will be placing their bid very shortly. That I guarantee.

United endured another turbulent campaign in 2021-22, finishing sixth to qualify for the Europa League and missing out on lucrative Champions League football.

Erik ten Hag has come in as their new manager but United have failed so far to sign his No 1 transfer target, Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona.

United lost 2-1 at home to Brighton in their season opener on Sunday afternoon.

By Amara

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