Knights remain confident


LONDON, May 20 – The Red Knights' consortium bidding to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family insisted on Thursday that their plans remain on course despite reports of rifts within the group.According to reports in England, senior figures involved with the group of wealthy United fans have hinted that internal divisions have sprung up amid fears they are fighting a losing battle to match the Glazers’ price for United.

The Red Knights had hoped fans’ protests against the Glazers, who have saddled the club with debts of over 700 million pounds (one billion dollars), allied to a call not to renew season tickets, would persuade the Americans to sell up.

But there has been no sign that the group, led by leading investment banker and former United director Jim O’Neill, have forced the Glazers to consider their position.

A report in the Guardian said one ‘Red Knight’ believed a bid would be only for "face-saving" purposes, while it was also suggested that the businessmen involved have struggled to agree on the right vision for United’s future.

Yet there is still a determination to go through with the takeover bid and, reacting to reports of disunity in the group, a Red Knights source was quoted as saying: "Talks have been going better than ever and are progressing very positively."