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Red Knights raise £1.5 billion in bid for control

Sixty wealthy investors have pledged £1.5 billion in their bid to buy control of Manchester United in the latest development. The Glazer family is still adamant that the champions are not for sale but leaders of the Red Knights will be meeting today to go through a list of applicants ready to back a buyout.

“We thought we had 40, well it is now already 60 investors” one of the Knights said last night.

It may mean that a bid could soon be a realistic prospect and that the Red Knights will be in a position to make an offer that cannot be refused.

The strength of the bid will become clear today when Jim O’Neill, head of global economic research at Goldman Sachs and a lifelong United supporter analyse the offers with his team.

The Red Knights believe that the club is worth about £1 billion, while the Glazers’ valuation is approximately £1.2 billion.

David Gill, the United chief executive meanwhile has dismissed the Knights out of hand this week describing their plan as unworkable. According to Gill, the Glazers are adamant they will not sell one of the most prized assets in world sport, while O’Neill, who has been given leave by Goldman Sachs to pursue the bid, and his group still have to prove that that they have the cash to wrest control from United’s controversial American owners — though they may be able to do so by the end of Friday.

The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust said last night that membership was on target for 110,000, more than doubling in a day since the Red Knights’ plan emerged on Tuesday.

Duncan Drasdo, the chief executive of MUST, said: “The growth rate is absolutely phenomenal, we now have more campaign members than the official Manchester United membership scheme”

The Knights have maintained from the very beginning that their efforts will remain low key until such time as they were ready to strike. It is now beginning to appear that their time has arrived.

Will the glazers sell the club?

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