There is a common perception that the news that was leaked last week was merely a false story created to try and get the Red Knights to increase their offer. However the group led by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, have issued the following statement:
“The Red Knights are continuing to seek to assemble a consortium to acquire Manchester United. Our primary goals remain to facilitate a return of ownership of the club to its supporters and the community; and to restore the financial health of the club. The response continues to be encouraging but the process to achieve it is understandably complex and is taking time.”
“We have had productive conversations with potential investors in recent weeks which have reinforced our belief that it is wrong to offer above fair value, particularly given the urgent need for the club to reduce debt; and that fair value is likely to be reducing over time given the headwinds facing the game of football. Accordingly we will continue to build support in a measured way and will give a further update in due course.”
It is believed that the Red Knights do not want to offer more than £1bn for the club and even if the story that was made up was false then it seems as though the Glazers will still want an offer more than £1.5bn. No doubt that issuing this statement shows that they will not be held to ransom over the club, but whether it has any effect at all is another question. The Manchester United Supporters Group (MUST) have warned the Glazers that if they reject the offer that is being put together by the Red Knights then they will immediately call for a boycott and club merchandise. However as the green and gold protests, banners and chanting haven’t seem to of had any affect on the Glazers then it looks doubtful that they will be swayed by this threat.
Also according to sources Manchester United’s debts are not having an impact on Sir Alex Ferguson’s transfer plans and recent sponsorship deals that have been negotiated by the club indicate that they are still an attractive propersition to businesses. So other than fan pressure there is no reason for the Glazers to walk away from what is a very commercially successful business.
With Manchester United being the global brand that it is, there will always be a lot of interest in the club from an economical aspect. Whilst the Red Knights have stood firm over their valuation of the club, the ball is and always will be in the Glazers court and for the time being it looks very unlikely that they are going to sell the club.