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Glazer's accused of 'desperate' charm offensive

Simon Stone,Pa
Friday 07 May 2010 16:36 BST

Manchester United's controversial owners have been accused of launching a "desperate" charm offensive.

Just weeks before the Red Knights group lodge a formal bid in excess of £1billion, it has been claimed the Glazer family turned down a £1.5billion offer from a Far East consortium last year.

The knowledge has been taken as an indication the Glazer family are firm in their conviction United is not for sale and have no interest in taking the Red Knights up on their offer.

That view is not shared by the Manchester United Supporters Trust, who are adamant the Glazer family want to offload the club at a profit and are merely trying to drive up the price.

"The timing of this PR manoeuvre is cynical and smacks of desperation," said MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo.

"Could anyone seriously believe the Glazers would reject a vastly overvalued bid of £1.5billion just at the time when they were so desperate for money last year?"

Given the huge impact made by the ongoing green and gold campaign, Drasdo finds it impossible to believe any potential buyer would make their move without consulting the fans first, which is why he does not believe the Red Knights offer, which is expected to be lodged before the World Cup begins on June 11, will be challenged.

"Anyone still interested in making a bid for United would be extremely foolish not to talk to supporters and the Red Knights but it is of course very possible they are now part of the Red Knight consortium anyway," said Drasdo.

"There can only be one deal in town for the Glazers and if they really don't want to sell and the supporters' campaign is having no impact then there would be no need to start this recent PR offensive.

"The only logical explanation can be that firstly they are interested in selling and this is all about trying to push up the price. Secondly they are rattled by the supporters' protest and desperately hoping to damp it down."

The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, who like MUST have opposed the Glazers since their first involvement at Old Trafford, have already called for a season ticket boycott, while, at the very least, Drasdo is expecting fans to wait until the first deadline on June 13 to see what the Red Knights have done before committing themselves.

"This spin that the Glazers intend to try to cling on to ownership will only make supporters more angry and far from reducing the opposition this is going to grow the protest and make fans more determined," he said.

"This is not going away and they are hugely underestimating Manchester United supporters if they think otherwise."

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