Man Utd takeover: Zilliacus urges Sheikh Jassim to work against Glazers as bid ‘on same level’

Will Ford
Thomas Zilliacus is interested in buying Man Utd

Thomas Zilliacus has urged Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe to join forces to buy Manchester United and avoid a bidding war which would “drive up the market price” and only serve to line the Glazers’ pockets.

Zilliacus tabled his bid for United on Friday, which would see him own 50 per cent of the club with the fans owning the other half.

The Finnish entrepeneur has said that he would want fans from all over the world to invest and then have their say in all “footballing matters” by voting through an app.

Zilliacus admits he does not have the personal wealth of Sheikh Jassim or Ratcliffe, but insists his bid is “on the same level” as his rivals, with funding coming through XXI Century Capital.

“The formal bid we have submitted is, I dare to say, on the same level and in line with the other bidders that have been discussed in public,” the 69-year-old said. “We are discussing with a number of parties and if we are allowed to proceed, then we will select the ones who fit best into the framework in what we want to achieve with the club.

“We’re not just paying market prices, we need to pay a premium, but we need more details to determine what the premium should be,” Zilliacus continued. “[We are] a group of people who would be committing their own money and if need be, we might also seek external financing but that is yet to be determined because we need to sit down and get more information so we can table an exact number.”

Zilliacus is also open to the idea of working with his fellow bidders, explaining that working against each other would only benefit the Glazers.

“To bid against each other would just drive up the value price, it benefits no one else but the current owners,” Zilliacus argued. “They will walk away with a massive premium. Instead we should focus on what can we do for Manchester United.

“I have interests in the club. I’m not expecting to make massive amounts of money out of this. I want to make sure the club performs well.

“So I’ve said let’s join forces and table a bid that is acceptable to the current owners and by doing so we would save two-thirds of whatever one of us would have paid alone and that money we can use to benefit the club.

“This is no ego trip, I want the club to benefit from its owners, whether its one or two or three or more owners, that is irrelevant – or put it another way, the more dedicated owners there are, the better it is for the club.

“I sincerely hope that we get there, where we three do it together and then include the fans as well. To me, that is by far the best solution for the club and for the fans.”

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