Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus has made an offer to buy Manchester United but will need to leverage the club’s huge fanbase in order to pull off a takeover.
Wednesday’s bid deadline was extended and Zilliacus became the third bidder to publicly declare his interest, joining Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Zilliacus’ proposal is for 50 per cent of the club, with the other half bought by fans, who would become part of the club’s decision-making process.
“Any sport club ultimately should belong to its fans. My bid is built on equality with fans,” he said.
“The current development, where billionaire sheikhs and oligarchs take over clubs and control them as their personal playgrounds is not a healthy trend.
“The current market value of the club is just under $3.9billion (£3.17billion). That means that if every one of the fans of the club would join in buying the club, the total sum per fan would amount to less than $6 (£4.88).
“My group will finance half of the sum needed to take over the club, and will ask the fans, through a new company that is being set up for this specific purpose, to participate for the other half. If every fan joins it means less than $3 (£2.44) per fan.”
While only three bidders have publicly announced their offers, it has been reported there could be as many as eight proposals submitted for the Glazer family’s consideration.
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