·24 March 2023
·24 March 2023
Another week has gone by and Manchester United supporters are still no closer to knowing who will be the owners of the club by the start of the new season, with one bidder even going as far as to suggest there’ll be no money left in the kitty if one scenario plays out.
Nothing ever seems straightforward with current owners, the Glazer family, and as of Friday night, Sheikh Jassim still hasn’t come up with a second bid to counter that from Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
A third bidder, former chairman of HJK Helsinki, Thomas Zilliacus, seems to have been dismissed as a laughing stock, though it is he that has words of caution for any of the others in the race to take over at Old Trafford.
The Daily Mirror note that Zilliacus has even suggested that aside from potential fan ownership as part of his bid, that the other two main players at this stage should join forces with him, something that apparently has been ridiculed.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe
“If you’re rivals in a bidding process, you’re of course trying to discredit others as much as you can,” he was quoted as saying.
“But I’d hope they wouldn’t do that because this is a serious, genuine attempt by someone who loves football and the club to get ownership.
“What’s really bothered me is we’re now in a process where it’s become a bidding war and the offer is going up and up and up. Who benefits from that? The Glazer family.
“The club is doing better now on the field than in recent times but there are a lot of other issues with the club, the stadium, facilities that need attention and money. It’s crazy for this to end up as a bidding war where the Glazer family walks away with billions more than the club is really worth and no money left to develop the club.
“I’ve reached out to Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim to say this is not about investing into a football club to make a lot of money because that just doesn’t happen. It’s the other way around, you put money in to make the club successful. So we’re doing this for the love of football and Manchester United.
“Instead of giving all this extra money to the Glazers, let’s join forces for the benefit of the club and put in an offer that reflects the true of the club with a premium of control. You have to pay a premium for control. By doing that we’ll save two thirds of what we’d pay by doing it alone and that money can be used for the benefit of the club.
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“I’ve zero ego issues with this bid, it’s about owning the club to make the club better and I hope the other bidders have had the same thinking and same approach. It makes perfect sense to join forces.
“There are more than enough VIP boxes and plush seats at Old Trafford to accommodate three owners. If we all have aligned interests and see it the same way, then there is a very bright future for the club.”
For all of his reasonable intent, it’s likely that Zilliacus’ attempts to muscle in on the process will fall by the wayside.
He clearly doesn’t have the financial capabilities that others involved at this stage do have, and to that end, he’d probably be better advised to exit stage left quietly to save himself from further bad publicity.
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