Businessman Michael Knighton has provided an update on his ongoing aim to buy Manchester United from the Glazers and feels the current owners will be gone in a year.
Knighton tweeted ‘Thank you ALL for the wonderful messages of support. There is much going on behind the scenes. Things are moving forward as planned. I apologise I can’t be on this platform more, just bogged down in meetings. God bless and every good wish to all of you. Your support is greatly appreciated.’
Thank you ALL for the wonderful messages of support. There is much going on behind the scenes.Things are moving forward as planned.I apologise I can't be on this platform more,just bogged down in meetings.God bless & every good wish to all of you.Yr support is greatly appreciated
— Michael Knighton (@RealMKnighton) September 17, 2022
There aren’t any other details surrounding what the plans are from Knighton, although he is understood to be backing billionaire Sir James Ratcliffe who himself has interest in a takeover.
Knighton appears to be speaking to multiple parties about raising the funds needed to put a bid in front of current owners The Glazers.
In an interview last month he said: ‘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.’
Knighton is no stranger to this situation, having tried to buy United back in 1989, although this deal did eventually fall through, Knighton ended up on the board at Old Trafford.
The situations do appear to be similar, Knighton had a group of financial backers last time out, something he appears to be trying to achieve now, he has also alluded to this recently in a interview too, saying: ‘There are strong comparisons between Manchester United in 1989 and Manchester United now, apart from the figures involved becoming much bigger.’
The major issue with Knighton’s approach is the Glazers’ lack of willingness to sell the club thus far.
Despite Knighton’s assertions that the Glazers will not be the owners next year – he stated recently that the American family ‘will not own Manchester United this time next year’ – they have so far not shown any likelihood to sell complete control of the club.
Recent reports have suggested that the Glazers are willing to sell some shares in order to drum up new investment into the club, however this would be a minority stake with no real impact on the Glazers’ ownership.
It seems likely that this situation will be ongoing and won’t be resolved anytime soon, but with continued protests against the Glazers, they may make the decision to sell sooner rather than later.