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Fans group Red Knights delays bid for Manchester United

A street pedlar sells green and gold scarves outside Old Trafford
Green and gold scarves have become the emblem of the Red Knights

The Red Knights consortium has revealed it is not planning to make a bid for Manchester United before the end of this season.

The group of United supporters has been vocal about a change of ownership at Old Trafford and is considering the feasibility of making a proposal.

A statement said: "We will continue to work on it but do not expect it to be done before the end of the season."

United are owned by the Glazer family, who paid £800m for the club in 2005.

But the level of debt United are in - now at £716.5m - has prompted unease over their ownership and supporters' groups have vented their frustration at the Americans.


The Red Knights, made up of wealthy United fans, has recruited the Japanese investment bank Nomura to help it put together a bid which will interest the Glazers, who for their part have said United are not for sale.

But the group, which includes Jim O'Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, lawyer Mark Rawlinson and financier Keith Harris, says the number of fans willing to invest in a takeover bid is growing.

Their statement added: "The Red Knights have been liaising with the Manchester United Supporters Trust, and their representatives were at our first meeting on 2 March. They remain closely involved with our plans.

"On 12 March we involved Nomura as our adviser. Since then they have been speaking to and meeting many potential Red Knights who have contacted us since our interest was made public.

"These potential Red Knights have offered ideas and support and, with the help of this input, our plans have been developed further."

The Glazers, meanwhile, have insisted that the club is not for sale and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been publicly supportive of the Americans.

But the 'Green and Gold campaign' has seen thousands of supporters wear the colours of United under their original guise of Newton Heath, with former United hero David Beckham donning a scarf after AC Milan's Champions League defeat at Old Trafford.

The Red Knights believe they will need to raise between £800m and £1bn to launch a serious bid for the club.

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see also
Red Knights get advisers for bid
11 Mar 10 |  Business
Red Knights get serious
11 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Ferguson rejects Red Knights link
07 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd suitors 'won't overpay'
05 Mar 10 |  Business
Glazers receive backing from Gill
03 Mar 10 |  Business
Who are the Red Knights?
11 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Financiers 'discuss Man Utd bid'
02 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Manchester United debt hits 716m
20 Jan 10 |  Business
Glazer wins control of Man United
12 May 05 |  Business

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