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Michael Knighton, who is preparing a Manchester United take over, labels a Fan Share Scheme a "smoke screen" to keep the Glazers in power

Dylan Penketh

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Michael Knighton, who is preparing a Manchester United take over, labels a Fan Share Scheme a "smoke screen" to keep the Glazers in power

Michael Knighton, former Manchester United director, has labelled the Fan Share Scheme a “smoke screen” to keep current owners the Glazer family in power.

It was revealed on Tuesday Michael Knighton is due to launch a hostile bid to take over ownership of the club “very shortly”, and within this, Knighton has explained what he would give to the fans should his consortium gain ownership.

Knighton was questioned by Man Utd The Religion if the scheme may be a one that will keep the Glazers in power indefinitely.

“Absolutely,” was his reply.

“You know, with all respect to M.U.S.T. (Manchester United Supporters Trust), this Glazer share scheme which M.U.S.T. are supporting is frankly a hollow scheme – it's a sop to the fans.

“It’s not a real, meaningful shareholding, and I will retract all my comments if I see the glazers say ‘there’s a block of shares, it's 25.1%’.

"Love United Hate Glazer" has become a staple of the Manchester United community. (Alamy)
"Love United Hate Glazer" has become a staple of the Manchester United community. (Alamy)

“Not necessarily a gift but there's a block of shares in the hands of fans to use at their will to block any initiative that the whole fan group are unhappy with. That I could understand.”

Knighton goes on to explain how he has zero support for the scheme.

“For me, the share scheme is a MUST/Glazer initiative, and I can’t support any mechanism which is going to be seen to be keeping this current ownership in power, because we need to rid our football club of this ownership.

“As I say, they have had their day, the time has run out, we’ve had 17 years of disappointment really, and it’s time for them to go.”

He continued to list other actions the Glazers are making that are causing problems, such as the dividends.

“They have to stop drawing these huge dividends out of the club, we have to stop paying these huge debt servicing costs – it’s time for them to sell.

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“Putting this bid together, I don't need to be the frontest person, I don't need to be the spokesperson, I just want to see our Manchester United football club in the hands of proper football people with proper vision.

“We need to repair our stadium, we need to put our club back where it belongs.

“Instead of these also rounds, as I say, we are in crisis and it won’t alter until they go.”

Knighton believes that this share scheme will only continue to exist as it keeps the current owners at the top, and it is one reason why he is putting his consortium’s bid together.

“This MUST initiative with the share scheme so called is a road to nowhere, it’s just going to keep the existing owners in power.

“That’s why I'm putting this hostile bid together.”

Manchester United majority owner Avram Glazer in the stands during Sunday's Premier League match against Brighton. (Alamy)
Manchester United majority owner Avram Glazer in the stands during Sunday's Premier League match against Brighton. (Alamy)

During the interview, Knighton also outlined how he would create a more stable relationship with the fans.

“That power block of fan ownership is essential to me, and until I can see that, I believe that the current share scheme is a smoke screen really to keep the current owners in situ.”

Knighton confirmed that he would give the fans a “potent” 25.1% of shares that would allow the fans to block any proposals put forward by the board of directors.

“My consortium will be placing their bid very shortly,” Knighton said. “That, I guarantee.”

Check the full interview out with Michael Knighton by Man Utd The Religion.

Manchester United are set to face Brentford in the Premier League under Erik ten Hag on Saturday in a bid to correct the dismal defeat suffered at the hands of Brighton on the opening weekend.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Man Utd The Religion

Topics: Manchester United

Dylan Penketh
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