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Fans oppose a rival bid to Red Knights

Steve Dinneen
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A mysterious rival bidder hoping to exploit the unrest at Manchester United will face criticism from fans as fierce as that directed at the Glazers.

Last week we revealed a second bidder was mulling over making an offer for the club in the wake of recent protests. But Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (Must) president Duncan Drasdo says fans will reject any bid that does not directly involve them.

Drasdo told City A.M. there has been a sea change in the way fans see the club and they now expect to be consulted on the way it is run.

He said: “We would be against any bid unless it was run by supporters. We feel there needs to be a fundamental change in the way the club is run to ensure its long term success.

“We would welcome any potential bidders to talk to us but unless it involved a serious amount of fans’ input it would face mass opposition.”

A group of wealthy fans headed by City stalwarts Keith Harris of Seymour Pierce and Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, calling themselves the Red Knights, are poised to make a summer bid in excess of £1bn for the club.

They have joined forces with Must to mobilise fans against the incumbent owners. They hope up to 15,000 fans will forgo their season tickets next year, costing the Glazers around £12m in lost revenue.

The Glazers have refused to remove the “not for sale” sign on the club butthey have hired a bank to monitor any incoming bids. The family has responded to the rumours of a second bid by upping its valuation of the club to £1.6bn.

Drasdo even suggested the bid may have been dreamt up by someone within the Glazer camp. He said: “There is no logical explanation for this bid unless someone is trying to bump up the price of the club. I am very sceptical.”