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Man Utd bidding war takes bizarre new twist as Thomas Zilliacus insists he HASN'T withdrawn his offer

Man Utd bidding war takes bizarre new twist as Thomas Zilliacus insists he HASN'T withdrawn his offer

Another twist in the bidding war.

Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus insists he hasn't withdrawn his offer for Manchester United, despite branding the bidding process a "farce" earlier this week.

Last month, Zilliacus entered the race to buy United from the Glazers and pledged to introduce a form of fan ownership at Old Trafford if his bid is successful.

His plan is to buy United through his investment firm, XXI Century Capital, and then issue low-priced shares to supporters - allowing them a say in the running of the club.

He was the third person to publicly declare their intention to buy the Premier League club outright after British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Zilliacus appeared to withdraw from the process this week after refusing to take part in a third round of bidding, with the Glazers unwilling to accept any of the offers they had so far received for United.

He tweeted: "I have declined participation in a third bidding round for United. The bidding is turning into a farce, with Glazers giving no respect to the club.

"The delays will make it very difficult for any owner to build a winning team for next season. Jim Ratcliffe, Sheikh Jassim and myself all were ready to negotiate a deal to buy United. Instead Glazers chose to start a new round.

"I will not participate in a farce set up to maximise the profit for the sellers at the expense of Manchester United."

Zilliacus insists he still wants to buy Man Utd

However, Zilliacus has now insisted he remains interested in buying United but will not submit a third bid without receiving more financial information from banking group Raine, who are handling the sale on behalf of the Glazers.

"I can start by giving you a piece of news that I hope will make at least some people happy," Zilliacus told the BBC's How To Buy A Football Club podcast.

"While I indeed said that I was not going to participate in the third round of bidding, I did not say that I was withdrawing my earlier bid.

"The earlier bid is still on the table and it is structured in a way that it does have an exact price tag on it - an offer of a certain amount of money for Manchester United, but I have also said that I am willing to pay a premium above what I have offered.

"But in order to determine what that premium would be, I need access to the same information that has already been provided to Sheikh Jassim and Jim Ratcliffe.

"And I also want to meet directly with the Glazers or the bank that is organising the bidding process, so that we can negotiate and hopefully agree on the price."

It remains to be seen whether Zilliacus will be provided that information and submit a new offer before the deadline for final bids at the end of April.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Premier League