Who are the Red Knights?

We look at the group of investors linked with a takeover bid of Manchester United.

A group of City investors known as the Red Knights are planning to takeover the Premier League champions.

The group includes:

Keith Harris – Former HSBC investment bank chief executive and currently Seymour Pierce stockbroker and by mnay regarded as the leader of the Red Knights.

Jim O’Neill – Goldman Sachs chief economist who grew up in Gatley in Manchester and is a lifelong United fan. He said after United’s recent bond issue: “There’s too much leverage going on with Manchester United. It’s not a good thing.” O’Neill is reportedly a friend of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Paul Marshall – Co-found and chairman of the hedge fund Marshall Wace, one of Europe’s largest. He said after United’s recent bond issue: “It is time Manchester United’s global community came together to create a structure of common debt-free ownership.”

Richard Hytner – Deputy chairman of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide and president of the Manchester United Supporters Trust. Hytner is among the founders of Shareholders United, when they battled against a takover of the club by Rupert Murdoch in 1998.

Mark Rawlinson – Partner at law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for more than 20 years. Rawlinson advised United when the Glazer family took over United in 2005.

“While Keith is one of the people involved in this, this is very much Jim’s show and he is leading the campaign,” said a source to The Telegraph.

The Red Knights’ plan is to raise around £1billion to buy out the Glazers at Old Trafford. Reports says they will raise the cash by trying to find 40 individuals who are ready to put up £20million each and it will also include the Red Knights borrowing around £200million.

The Red Knights have held talks with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), who are ready to back the bid. MUST are desperate to get the Glazers out of Old Trafford and recently launched the green and gold campaign.

The Red Knights have reportedly allready received pledges of more than £500million in their battle to unseat the Glazers at Manchester United

“We are continuing to work on a proposal, and we are encouraged by the international response we have had to the call for potential investors to get in touch with us,” added a source to The Telegraph.

The Glazer Family have insisted that they are not interested in selling the Premier League club.

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