Is It Time for the Red Knights to Ride Out Of Town: Manchester United’s Future is at Stake

COS contributor ‘Eavesy Does It’ wonders if it’s time someone else attempted Glazer takeover.

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Anti Glazer protesters Manchester United v Stoke 2009/10

Face saving is important, especially when you’re a wealthy businessman with a reputation to protect.

Many media sources reported last week that the Red Knights bid was doomed to failure. With Daniel Taylor of the Guardian, who had long publicised the bid and MUST (Manchester United Supporters Trust) campaigns, saying he’d heard from inside sources that if a bid was made it would be for ‘face saving purposes’ aiming to avoid a backlash after such a media driven campaign.

There are many who thought the bid was doomed from the offset. Expecting city bankers and extremely wealthy businessmen to part with money on an almost philanthropic basis was a nice idea but seemingly unrealistic in the world we live in.

The bid was originally fronted by Keith Harris, a man with a patchy track record in English football. For every highly publicised success he enjoyed, there seemed to be a failure of equal or higher stature.

In 2008 he was hired by Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle United, having told everyone in the media he could. In November 2008 he said it would likely be sold in the New Year ready for the transfer window, what happened? Apart from several media interviews, nothing really. The same as when he was hired to find a buyer for Everton.

Another football deal he did? Remember when the ITV Digital TV deal went to wall, well who should be the new chairman of the Football League at the time? Yep, Keith Harris. Rather than accepting the advised reduced payment, he tried to play hard ball with a company that had nothing to lose and lost the lot. He resigned in disgrace and was slated in the press as being ‘incapable of running a kebab shop’.

As we stand it appears that if a bid is made it will be around the start of the World Cup, which would conveniently be a good time to bury bad news.

There are rumours of two high level bids coming in from different sources which, having the funds needed, would be more likely to succeed than the Red Knights.

However, MUST have made it clear they see the Red Knights as the preferred bidders and have dug themselves in deeply and appear to be still digging. MUST’s Chief Executive, Duncan Drasdo, said ‘There can only be one deal in town for the Glazers’, he then went on to add that anyone interested in making a bid for Manchester United who did not consult the Red Knights would be ‘foolish’. Last week MUST mounted a robust defence against the media coverage of a doomed bid.

It’s not strange to think that any interested parties would delay a bid because of the hostile reception they feel they may get by competing with the Red Knights. If the bid, as appears increasingly likely, is more about saving face then shouldn’t they do the decent thing and step aside now?

The future of Manchester United is more important than a few people saving face.

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