Manchester United owners warned they have ‘run out of steam’ and should sell up |  UK News

Manchester United owners warned they have ‘run out of steam’ and should sell up | UK News

Former Manchester United director Michael Knighton is putting his own ambitions to buy the struggling club on hold to back Sir Jim Ratcliffe to become the new owner.

Mr Knighton told Sky News that the Glazers had “run out of steam” and should sell up.

The American family have given no indication that they are willing to bow to fan pressure by selling the record 20-time league champions after 17 years.

But Ratcliffe went public this week with his desire to potentially invest in the club the billionaire has since supported a child before making his fortune in chemicals with INEOS.

Mr Knighton told Sky News: “My message to the Glazer family is, you’ve driven out of the way. Please, with honour, with dignity, with professionalism, just quietly slide out the exit door now. Your time is up, it’s over and the man to sell this football club to is British man Sir Jim Ratcliffe.”

Mr Knighton had formed his own consortium and claims to have raised more than £3bn, but Mr Ratcliffe’s wealth eclipses their financial firepower.

“We need all Manchester United fans to support Sir Jim Ratcliffe,” Knighton said.

“If Jim doesn’t, we will be there. We will launch the hostile bid.”

Read more:
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s determination should in no way be underestimated

Many fans want the Glazer family to sell out
Picture:
Many fans want the Glazer family to sell out

Mr Knighton saw his own £20m bid for United collapse in 1989. The last change of ownership at Old Trafford was to the Glazers in 2005 for £790m in a takeover that saddled the club with debts now around £500m.

Fans are outraged at the more than £1billion it has cost the Glazers to service their debt while they profit themselves by receiving dividends from the club.

The nine years since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down have seen United spend more than £1billion on players, but poor transfer decision-making has meant the club have failed to regain the Premier League trophy since 2013.

The new season has started with two defeats, including a 4-0 humiliation at Brentford on Saturday that no member of the Glazer family was in London to see.

Mr Knighton added: “Every businessman in the country, certainly at some level if they have commercial acumen at all, knows that these people will seek an exit.

“They’re damaging their own brand, they’re damaging their investments, and of course everything else in the world is for sale at the right price. They’re damaging and reducing the value of their own stock.”

There was no comment on Thursday about future ownership from the club, which has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012.

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