Michael Knighton: ex Man Utd director plans takeover of club

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Glazers are set to be thrown out of Manchester United as the former director prepares for a bid

Former Manchester United director Michael Knighton has claimed he plans to take over the Red Devils in hopes of ending the Glazer family’s controversial ownership of the club.

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Since Malcolm Glazer’s death in 2006, the family has owned a 90% stake in the club, which has been split equally between his six children.

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In recent years, the Glazer’s have caused a great deal of unrest among fans, using their property as leverage against significant debt and causing even more damage when the European Super League was proposed.

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Knighton, who spent several years on Old Trafford’s board, now believes it is time to end the rule of the club’s ‘incompetent’ owners.

Who is Michael Knighton?

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Knighton is a 70-year-old businessman best known for his historic involvement with Manchester United and Carlisle United.

As a teenager, Knighton spent a year as an apprentice with Coventry City but his football career was soon cut short after a hamstring injury.

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He then studied physical education, philosophy, politics and Mandarin Chinese at Durham University before becoming a physical education and geography teacher.

Knighton became Headmaster of what is now Huddersfield Grammar School in 1980 and eventually bought the school in 1983.

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A year later, the Derbyshire-born businessman left teaching to focus on property interests.

In 1992 Knighton bought Carlisle United, who at the time were playing in the bottom tier of the Football League, hoping to rebuild them to Premier League glory (a league they hadn’t seen since 1974-75).

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After a few years in the North, Knighton became increasingly unpopular with fans and an independent supporters’ trust (now known as The United Trust) was formed to protest his control.

Eventually, Knighton was evicted in 2002 and he has reported never returning to town.

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Michael Knighton at Manchester United

Knighton’s first encounter with the public came in August 1989 when he earned £20m for Manchester United, which was a record figure for a British football club at the time.

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After successfully recruiting backers to help with the bid, Knighton gave up his bid for control in exchange for a seat on the board.

Now Knighton has said he wants to remove the club’s ‘incompetent’ owners to take over the Red Devils again.

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Speaking to Man Utd the Religion, Knighton said: “We are a club in crisis and we all know why. We have an incompetent and frankly useless owner who knows little about this football game. Everyone knows that we need new owners for this football club and that’s my goal and those are my goals.

“I’m making good progress, keep talking to people, I’ve got some good commitments and good funding. We are now working on the offer document. Keep in mind that this is a hostile offer – it simply means the racket is not officially for sale. But my intention is to make a legitimate, strong and commercial offer to these owners to say: ‘You have no more road, it’s time to go because your time is up.’”

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Who is in Michael Knighton’s consortium?

It’s currently unknown who will be part of Knighton’s consortium, but Knighton has assured fans he’s busy planning and securing names.

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Knighton is hoping Britain’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe will join the consortium, but Mr Ratcliffe (who has recently been linked with a Chelsea purchase) has made no noise.

Knighton said Ratcliffe “can solve all our problems. My consortium is ready and waiting. The funds are pledged. The offer document is prepared and submitted. By the time Jim comes, my consortium will be bidding shortly, I can guarantee you that.”

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What is Michael Knighton Net Worth?

Knighton is estimated to have a net worth of around £5.7 million ($7 million). Most of his income comes from his real estate business

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