Sir Alex Ferguson not only supports the Red Knights’ bid to oust the Glazer family but will put his own money into a successful offer for Manchester United, reports the Observer today. The Scottish manager, publicly supportive of the American owners since the summer 2005 takeover, has refused to denounce the Knights.
Led by Seymour Pierce banker Keith Harris, with Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neil and Freshfield’s lawyer Mark Rawlinson, the so-called Red Knights have raised more than £1.5 billion in pledges from up to 60 wealthy backers towards a hostile bid for the club as momentum towards a change of ownership grows.
“Alex Ferguson is not only supportive of the bid but would be prepared, if successful, to back it,” the paper quotes an unamed source. Meanwhile, another senior figure, claims the paper, is counting on the legendary manager’s support although the group is not prepared to embarrass Ferguson into going on the record.
O’Neil, long friendly with Ferguson after the economist’s time on the United board from the late 1990s, is the driving force behind raising City finances for a bid in the coming months, while membership of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) has swelled to more than 120,000.
While the Glazer family has declared the club “not for sale,” Ferguson’s tactit support for a Knights’ bid, even if it is not publicly stated, would rally supporter involvement in a potential season ticket boycott of the club this summer if the Glazer family refuses to sell.