Green and gold scarves have become the emblem of the Red Knights
By Dan Roan
BBC Sports Correspondent
The Red Knights have enjoyed their best day yet as the tussle over the future ownership of Manchester United enters a crucial phase.
First, the world wakes up to pictures of Old Trafford legend David Beckham draped in a green and gold scarf, a publicity boost described to me as "priceless" by a senior Red Knight I spoke to.
Then came confirmation that the group of investors seeking to buy the club from the Glazer family had recruited Nomura to help.
The support of the biggest investment bank in Japan will only enhance the potential for more significant investment from the Far East, where the club's popularity is considerable.
David Beckham appeared to back the fans by donning a protest scarf
The same Red Knight told me he was delighted by the appointment and what he believes is real momentum behind their campaign.
Guy Dawson, who will lead Nomura's team, advised United's board when the club was sold to the Glazers in 2005.
Now he will speak to the 70 wealthy individuals who have expressed an interest in investing in the takeover bid, explore the possibility of a sale with the Glazers, whom he knows well, and try to come up with a timetable that could lead to a bid.
"This is a significant next step for us," a spokesman for the Red Knights told me. "This is the start of the process, but it's good to have Nomura on board to help us structure a deal."
Until now, the Red Knights have been a fledgling campaign, with expressions of interest but no money changing hands.
This statement of intent proves they are serious about making an offer to the Glazers and persuading them to walk away from the club.
Interestingly, I am told that the Red Knights have now turned away two mystery 'super-investors', worth hundreds of millions of pounds, that had offered their support to the cause.
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