Michael Knighton came within a whisker of purchasing Manchester United in 1989 and is eager to evict the Glazers after 16 years of ineptitude under their ownership.
Former Manchester United executive Michael Knighton has announced that he and a consortium are preparing a bid to purchase Manchester United from the Glazer family.
The Glazers, who bought United in 2005, are under increasing pressure to sell the club after a disastrous summer transfer window. Erik ten Hag’s appointment as the club’s new manager was expected to herald the start of a new era at the club, but a lack of movement in the transfer market has intensified pressure on the American family to sell up.
Hundreds of Manchester United fans marched from MediaCity to Old Trafford in protest of the Glazers before of Sunday’s Premier League season opener against Brighton. Once inside, anti-Glazer shouts echoed throughout the stadium, with Avram Glazer, who was attending for the first time in nearly a year, sitting in the directors’ box.
Their ownership of the club has become unsustainable, with fans calling them to sell. Perhaps to the delight of United fans, Knighton has declared his intention to purchase the club with the help of a consortium. But just who is Knighton? Everything you need to know about him is listed below:
What is his name?
Knighton is a 70-year-old British businessman who began his career as a footballer. As a youth, he obtained an apprenticeship at Coventry City but was forced to stop his footballing career short due to injury.
Following that, Knighton entered the teaching profession, working as a PE teacher at what is now known as Huddersfield Grammar School. He would eventually become the school’s headteacher before leaving teaching in 1984 to pursue property interests.
Five years later, Knighton made his football debut by submitting a £20 million bid to acquire United. It was a record offer to buy a British football club at the time, and it was accepted by chief executive Martin Edwards, resulting in Knighton, somewhat prematurely, announcing his arrival at the club by taking to the pitch in full United kit prior to the team’s first game of the 1989-90 league season against Arsenal.
However, after several weeks of conversations and negotiations, important investors withdrew, and Knighton dropped his proposal to buy the Reds in favor of a position on the board of directors. After failing to purchase United, he went on to purchase Carlisle United in 1992, leaving ten years later when the club went into voluntary administration. He has not played football since then.
What does his bid imply?
At the very least, brighter days are ahead. Knighton, while not working in football for some years, knows United well and out and evidently loves the club, having served on its board from 1989 to 1992.
Knighton lacks the financial clout to fund a deal to buy the club on his own and would need the backing of a consortium to make his bid possible, which is the path he is taking.
What has Knighton said about owning United and the club’s current state?
“We are a club in crisis, and we all know why,” he told Manchester United’s The Religion this week. “We have an inadequate and basically useless ownership that knows nothing about football.”
“Everyone understands that we require new ownership of this football club, and that is my goal and objective.” I’m making good progress, I’m still talking to people, and I’ve gotten some good pledges and funding.
“We’re now working on the offer document.” Remember, this is a hostile bid, which means the club is not officially for sale. But my objective is to make a credible, potent, and commercial offer to these proprietors, saying, ‘You have run out of the road, it’s time to depart because your time is up.’
“And, to be honest, supporters all around the world have had enough of this administration.” The joyful sensation of a new season, which we all have, and that balloon of excitement, it was all shattered by the performance against Brighton. The club is in turmoil and will remain so as long as this current owner is in place.”