Finnish businessman Tomas Ziliakos announced today, Thursday, that he has made an offer to buy Manchester United, a Premier League football club.
The American Glazer family, which owns Manchester United, began discussing options to acquire the 20-time English champions in November, whether by adding new investors or selling the club, 17 years after buying it for £790m ($968.30m) in as part of a major deal. .
In a lengthy statement released today Thursday, Thomas Ziliakos, founder and chairman of the Mobile FutureWorks Group, announced an unconventional proposal to finance half of the amount needed to acquire the club, with the option for fans to purchase the other half through a new company under construction.
The Finnish businessman also promised that every fan who contributes will have access to the app to vote on all Manchester United-related football matters.
“Any sports club must ultimately belong to its fans. The current development of billionaire sheikhs and oligarchs taking over and controlling clubs is not a healthy trend. The current market value of the club is just under $3.9 billion. the club participated in its purchase, the total amount per fan will be less than $6. My proposal is based on parity with the fans.
🗣️ – Thomas Zilliacus (#mafts bidder): “My group will finance half of the amount needed to acquire Manchester United and will ask the fans, through a new company set up for this purpose, to contribute the other half. If every fan joins, it’s less than $3 per fan.” pic.twitter.com/gJOj4HvAON
— UtdXclusive (@UtdXclusive) March 23, 2023
He continued: My group will finance half of the amount needed to acquire the club and will ask the fans, through a new company that will be created for this specific purpose, to participate in the other half. If every fan joins, it will be less than $3 per fan.
He explained that every fan who joins will have access to an application that they can use from anywhere in the world to participate and vote on football matters related to the club. No decisions will be made that are not supported by the majority of the fans.
He said: Manchester United must not only be the best football club in the world, but also the world’s leading club working to end slurs, racism and hate speech on social media and in sports stadiums.
He concluded by saying: “If we are successful in our bid, we will ensure that Manchester United, the best football club in the world, operates on the basis of respect, equality, dignity, diversity, ethnic harmony and democracy, and with its global the fan base is included and participates in all decisions.
The race for control of Manchester United flared up on Wednesday evening when Glazer’s chosen bidding agents granted US banking group Rhine a last-minute extension to the bidding deadline set for Wednesday at 9 p.m. GMT.
This forced both announced bidders, Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, and Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos group, to take the next step.
Sheikh Jassim withdrew his £5 billion bid he submitted before the deadline, while Ineos, who was about to make a similar offer, was forced to change her mind, reports The Sun.
A second bid for Manchester United is still pending but could fall below the asking price set by the Glazers.
And the Manchester Evening News reported that the American investment management company Elliott Management, formerly owned by the Italian company AC Milan, has submitted an offer to buy a minority stake in Manchester United.