Glazers will sell Manchester United to Red Knights say fans

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The Independent Online

Fans opposed to the Glazer family's ownership of Manchester United are convinced the controversial Americans will eventually sell up to the Red Knights.

Key talks are currently taking place with a range of potential investors aimed at securing the funds required to lodge a bid in excess of £1billion at the end of the season.

Yet the suspicion remains that the Glazers have no interest in selling, something they have repeated privately on a number of occasions.

The Red Knights' view is that with the value of United starting to fall and avenues for increasing revenue reducing, by offering the Glazers a profitable solution the saga can be sorted out to the mutual benefit of all concerned.

And, as the Glazers are only too well aware, rejection is set to trigger an increase in supporter hostility.

"If I was in the Glazers' position and I was offered a profit, with all the different factors that are creating uncertainty for the future, it would seem like a pretty sensible option to take," said Duncan Drasdo, chairman of the Manchester United Supporters Trust, which has consistently campaigned against the Glazer family.

"When you look at all the graphs that were showing growth in ticket revenue, hospitality revenue and general matchday revenue, they are all dropping now.

"Their own advisors have said that in advice to the bond holders and they will drop next season as well.

"That suggests a decline in the value of the whole company, unless that revenue is replaced from somewhere else.

"With all the pressures of squad reinforcement, profits are going to drop further.

"It would be surprising if they weren't willing to take something that gave them a profit."

Although there is a widespread belief the Glazers are not in a position to offer huge sums to Sir Alex Ferguson to reinvigorate a squad that could yet win an unprecedented fourth successive league title, club officials, including Ferguson, have insisted money is available.

Those who defend United's owners point to the number of trophies that have been won since they took charge in 2005, claiming the flexibility they have brought, compared to the more stringent days as a PLC, have been a major factor in their recent success.

Opponents get no further than the huge debt burden that would not be wiped away by the Red Knights' involvement, given they are committed to retaining the £500million bond, the prospectus for which laid bare so many wounding admissions by the Glazer family.

Those included the potential for the sale and lease back of Old Trafford and United's Carrington training complex.

The Red Knights certainly mean business, having added accountants Deloitte to a portfolio of prestigious advisors which also includes investment back Nomura.

And the Glazer camp believe a call to boycott season tickets, the price of which have been pegged for next season, and other merchandise is inevitable once the family have said no to the initial overtures which are expected before the World Cup starts in South Africa on June 11.

"The bond document, which reinforced everything we had said for a long time, triggered something very special in the green and gold campaign," Drasdo added.

"The Red Knights' interest took it to another level.

"When they come out and make a bid, the offer is on the table and if it offers a profit for the Glazers, that is when it goes to a different level.

"If this is how people feel now, how will they feel if the Glazers are still there having been offered a profitable exit?"

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