Ex-director Michael Knighton to launch ‘hostile bid’ to buy Manchester United from Glazers

·2 min read
Manchester United fans protest against the Glazer family in April (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
Manchester United fans protest against the Glazer family in April (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Former Manchester United director Michael Knighton claims to be planning a “hostile takeover” of the club in a bid to finally end the Glazer family’s controversial reign.

Knighton came close to buying United in 1989 for £10m before a deal fell through, but spent several years on the Old Trafford board.

And amid continued fan unrest over the Glazers, who continue to leverage their ownership against significant debt and further soured supporter relations during the Super League scandal, Knighton believes it is time to end relieve the “inept” owners of the club.

“We are a club in crisis and we all know the reason why,” Knighton told Man Utd the Religion. “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. The club is in crisis and it will remain in crisis while we have this current ownership.”

Meanwhile the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have begun a consultation process with members over proposals for the creation of a new Fan Share scheme. It is understood under the scheme fan shares would carry the same voting weight as ‘B’ shares owned by the Glazer family, although United’s owners would not profit from the scheme.

MUST believe having fans owning shares is the best long-term guarantee of ensuring supporters have a much greater influence over the direction of the club than in the past.

There were protests against the Glazer family’s ownership at Old Trafford last weekend ahead of United’s opening match of the season, and Erik ten Hag’s first competitive game as manager, which they lost 2-1 to Brighton.