We don’t know how many different groups have submitted a bid to buy Manchester United Football Club, but we do know how many of them have made their intentions public.
The third party to make their quest public is Finnish businessman and entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus. The former Nokia executive joins a very elite group, one that includes only a consortium led by Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim and INEOS Founder/British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The Zilliacus offer is said to be worth around $3.9 billion, and while that may seem like a whole lot of money, because well it certainly is, it’s still about $3.5bn less than what the Glazer family is seeking.
“We are willing and expect to go higher than that $3.9 billion,” Zilliacus said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.
The Zilliacus plan is to buy half of the club himself and then allow fans to join together, from all over the world, to purchase the remaining half via much smaller contributions to an app.
The idea being that United supporters themselves would actually have some real input and genuine influence into some of the decision making process of the club.
“I want the fans to feel that they have a say in all the key sporting decisions of the club,” Zilliacus said.
He also made reference to the Glazers, saying he believes the family would want “to go down in history as sellers who enabled the fans of Manchester United to become owners of the club.”
Uhm, yeah. It’s a very lofty ideal, and certainly something to root for, but knowing the Glazers, we just don’t see that happen.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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