Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Manchester United 'Class of 92' takeover reports: David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and the Nevilles are reported to be fronting a potential takeover bid backed by money from Middle East

Manchester United supporters 'sceptical' of 'Class of 92' takeover reports, but admit story has sparked interest
Manchester United supporters 'sceptical' of 'Class of 92' takeover reports, but admit story has sparked interest

Manchester United supporters have responded with interest to the reports of an alleged takeover of the reigning Premier League champions by the 'Class of 92'.

Reports have emerged that suggested David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and the Neville's Gary and Phil are to front a potential takeover bid backed by money from the Middle East.

Beckham has already signalled his intent to start up a franchise in the MLS after pushing forward with plans to run a team out of Miami, but reports in Thursday’s The Sun claim that he is discussing the possibility of launching a surprise move to take over control of United from the Glazer family with his former team-mates.

Giggs, Butt, Scholes and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, are believed to be involved in the talks, and while the claims state talks are far from advanced, the news has been welcomed by disgruntled supporters.

Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the 200,000 strong Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said today: "Whether or not there is any truth in the story of a possible takeover of Manchester United, and we remain sceptical at this stage, it has certainly sparked interest amongst United fans. Undoubtedly the majority of fans would like to see a better ownership model which put the club and fans first rather than the profits of private owners."

It is reported that the septet will front a bid that would come with significant financial backing from the Middle East, and while the Glazer family have insisted they remain committed to owning the club for the long-term, fans have remained persistent in calling for their exit due to the debt suffered under their tenure.

Gary Neville, who works as a pundit for Sky Sports and is the assistant to England manager Roy Hodgson, has spoken in the past of his admiration for the structure at Bayern Munich which sees fans take a leading role in the running of the club. It is a model that MUST would also like to see.

"Munich benefit from shared ownership between fans and commercial investors with people with real football backgrounds in positions of power alongside the best professional executives," said Drasdo in a statement today. "That combination is potent and has turned Bayern Munich into the powerhouse we see today.

"Like Munich, United don't need a Sugar Daddy. We just need to be released from the shackles of the Glazer ownership and allowed to reinvest Manchester United's own massive revenues for the benefit of the club and fans."

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