The Glazers will sell Manchester United for the right price, insists the man who tried to buy the club back in 1989, Michael Knighton.
Knighton plans to hold talks with would-be investors, and says he will be reaching out out to Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe recently suggested the club is not for sale, interviewed by BBC Sport amid a failed attempt to buy Chelsea.
His money is still available and the cat is out the bag that he wants to invest in an English football club. Knighton is attempting to convince investors to make a push for Manchester United, believing every club has a price.
Michael Knighton wants to restore Manchester United
Filmmaker John Gubba has interviewed Michael Knighton to learn more about what he is attempting to do behind the scenes to persuade investors to buy the Glazers out.
Knighton explained in the interview, available on YouTube: “Let’s get a consortium. I have put feelers out, I have been in touch with billionaires who are interested in football, some of them had never thought of owning a football club, but I am pulling on their tail.
“I’ve been asked by various groups to be their spokesperson, which I am happy to be, but what I have said to each and every one is this, ‘the only way we can make an impact, is for all of the fan group to unite as one body with one spokesperson dealing with the Glazers directly.
“Lets restore Manchester United to where it should be. Lets sit down, lets really see if we can talk to the Glazers, they can’t be happy with their own position, the view the fans have of them, it is not at all enjoyable and they must want themselves for things to change. I’ve nothing against them personally, I just want Manchester United to be in the hands of ownership that really understands Manchester United and what it represents around the world, most of all what it means to Manchester United fans.
“I will play my part. I will keep talking to people, I will keep rallying, but the fans must come together. Lets be civilised, professional, dignified, and commercially proper. That way we will achieve our result, and we will get a new regime change. At the end of the day, everything is for sale.”
‘Glazers out is bigger than a new manager‘
Manchester United have appointed new manager Erik ten Hag, which has given fans reason to be optimistic. But Michael Knighton is keen to point out that improving United is about far more.
He said: “At least the current executive team has been tweaked, Ed Woodward has left, that’s a good start, I would never put investment bankers in charge of a club. But until we have new ownership, until we have the right people really forcing this club forward, I am afraid we are just going to have more of the same,
“I know we’ve got a new manager to look forward to next year, Erik ten Hag lets hope he can do what he has done at Ajax and so on.
“My view is a new regime change, people who really understand football, lets get fans involved.”
Knighton said Ratcliffe is ‘ideal’
Michael Knighton spoke specifically about Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has a net worth of at least £12 billion.
He said: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe would be absolutely ideal, and he does have the financial clout, he is a football man, he’s also a brilliant businessman, his motivations would be unquestioned in my view.
“If we could get the likes of Jim Ratcliffe to buy Manchester United that would be a wonderful solution.
“He doesn’t need to take money out of any football club.”
Knighton says he wants a leading figure with Ratcliffe’s clout to ‘prise away’ the club from the Glazers, and says he will be doing everything he can to pull a consortium together to make it happen.
“I will get a message to Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his people.
“He would be a perfect solution. Let’s hope he comes forward, I would gladly gift him my blueprint.”
He added that the Glazers’ proposed fans share scheme ‘lacks merit’, with the project no closer to realisation one year after it was first proposed.
The Glazers took over United in 2005, amid huge protests, which have ebbed and flowed over the past 17 years.
Large scale protest sparked by the Super League proposals, rooted in anti-Glazer sentiment, led to the the postponement of one of English football’s glamour fixtures, Manchester United v Liverpool.
This led to Joel Glazer communicating with supporters for the first time since he took over, but this has looked more and more like a token gesture, a year on.
Recent protests led by the newly formed 1958 Group have begun to mobilise fans once again, and the levels of interest in buying Chelsea when it was put up for sale, proved there are buyers out there.