Red Knights thrash out United plans

Steve Dinneen
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THE group of City financiers hoping to wrest control of Manchester United met in London yesterday to hone their plans.

They are understood to have discussed the structure of the complicated share issue that will give fans the chance to buy a stake in the club.

They are also thrashing out whether to retain the £509m bond issue taken out by the Glazer family.

A source close to the self-styled “Red Knights” told City A.M.: “The bid is moving forwards in terms of developing the proposals.

“It is vital these details are worked out if the Red Knights are to get solid support for a bid.”

The source added: “An offer for the club is on track – it will be forthcoming at the end of the season.”

The City figures behind the fans’ revolt include former Centrica boss Sir Roy Gardner; Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs; Keith Harris head of Seymour Pierce; Paul Marshall, founder of the London hedge fund Marshall Wace; Mark Rawlinson, of law firm Freshfields, Nomura banker Guy Dawson and Richard Hytner, from Saatchi & Saatchi.

Meanwhile, head of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust Duncan Drasdo says the protest against the Glazer family will be stepped up for the final games of the season now the club is no longer competing for Europe.

He said: “The fans want to make sure they don’t affect the club on the pitch. The last two games of the season will see a significant increase in the level of protest.

Drasdo also welcomed the inclusion of supporters’ interests in both the Labour and Tory manifesto.

Both parties have indicated fans should have more say over how their clubs are run.

He said he will meet with both the parties with a “wish-list” ahead of the election.