Red Knights decide to halt United takeover bid

Updated: Jun 02, 2010, 17:40 PM IST

London: The Red Knights consortium who had hoped to mount a bid to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family have called a halt to their takeover plans.

After bringing together several wealthy United fans with a view to forcing out the Glazers, it has become clear to the group that the Americans have no intention of selling the Premier League club at any price.

The Glazer family reportedly rejected a 1.5 billion pounds bid from a Far East consortium earlier this year and that revelation has convinced the Red Knights that they will get nowhere even if they could raise the funds to make a bid.

"The Red Knights remain committed to pursuing their efforts to try and help bring ownership of Manchester United to its supporters, and under a structure with materially less debt," a statement released on behalf of the group read.

"As we have maintained however since news of our ambitions first emerged in March, we will only attempt to purchase the club at a sensible price, consistent with the long-term interests of the club.”

"Persistent speculation in the media of inflated valuation aspirations has made our goals less attainable, as potential investors have strongly reinforced our views that we should not move forward at a price uneconomic for the future of the club."

The Red Knights believe a price of one billion pounds would be realistic for United given current market conditions.

But the Glazers wouldn`t contemplate that kind of return on their investment, leaving United fans to consider their next move as they protest against owners who have saddled their team with debts of over 500 million pounds.

It is likely that the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) will now call for a boycott of season tickets and other club merchandise in an effort to damage revenue streams and undermine the Glazers` business plan.

"We understand that many supporters were hoping that we might be in a position to make a bid before the season ticket renewal deadline," the Red Knights` statement added.

"However, our approach is best served by long-term interests of all. We have never taken a stance on season ticket renewals, it is a personal choice for all supporters.”

"We have spent some considerable time assessing the value of the club.”

"If the fundamentals lead to a more realistic re-assessment then, along with our co-operation with MUST and other Manchester United supporters, we will aim to achieve our goals."

Bureau Report