Michael Knighton has claimed that he is planning a "hostile takeover" of Manchester United, amid further fan protests against the Glazer family. Knighton came close to buying the club back in 1989 for just £10 million, and famously showed off his football skills in front of the Stretford End prior to the deal being signed.
That takeover eventually fell through, but he did hold a seat on the Old Trafford directors' board for a time, and over 30 years later the businessman claims he is ready to mount a fresh offer for the Red Devils.
Fan pressure for the Glazers to sell does not show any signs of abating, with the latest demonstration resulting in the club's megastore being closed down prior to their 2022-23 Premier League opener against Brighton - which they lost 2-1.
What has Knighton said about his takeover bid?
"We are a club in crisis and we all know the reason why," Knighton told Man Utd The Religion.
"We have an inept and frankly useless ownership who know little about this game of football. Everyone knows that we need new ownership of this football club and that is my aim and those are my objectives.
"I am making good progress, continuing to talk to the people, I have got some good pledges and good finance. We are now working on the offer document. Remember, it is a hostile bid - that simply means that the club isn't officially for sale.
Man United fans’ Glazer protest forces closure of Megastore ahead of their first game of the season at Old Trafford pic.twitter.com/vUIGlNfKGC— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) August 7, 2022
"But my intention is to present these owners with a legitimate, potent and commercial offer to say: 'You have run out of road, it's time go, because your time is up'.
"And frankly, the fans worldwide have had enough of this regime. The exciting feeling of a new season, which we all have, and that balloon of excitement that is there, it was all burst when we quickly saw the performance against Brighton. The club is in crisis and it will remain in crisis while we have this current ownership."
Will the Glazers sell Man Utd?
The Glazer family very rarely give interviews, much to the frustration of the United faithful. Fans did get an insight into the feeling at the club earlier in the summer, though, as chief executive Richard Arnold highlighted the owners' willingness to invest in the squad in recent seasons during a debate with aggrieved supporters at a pub.
Despite the mounting pressure to end their involvement with the club, there is little indication that the Glazers are looking to sell.
Following United's opening-day defeat to Brighton, Sky Sports pundit and club legend Gary Neville called for the current owners to entertain a takeover bid.
"The time has come for the Glazer family to sell the football club. It's now," he said.