Michael Knighton is back in the frame when it comes to a possible takeover at Manchester United, with a second bid for power at Old Trafford from a familiar face seemingly in the pipeline. One play for control of the Red Devils was made in the 1980s, with a bid accepted back then.
A proposed deal ultimately fell through, but could it be a case of second time lucky for the now 70-year-old businessman when it comes to taking the reins of Premier League heavyweights? With that question hanging over the Theatre of Dreams, GOAL brings you all you need to know about a potential new owner.
Michael Knighton: What is his net worth?
Knighton is said to have a net worth of around B#5.8 million (\$7m).
To put that into context, the Glazer family b who retain ownership of Manchester United for now – boast a collective fortune of B#3.9 billion (\$4.7bn).
GettyMichael Knighton: What are his business interests?
Knighton, who was born in October 1951 and spent his childhood in Derbyshire, had hoped to become a professional footballer himself when growing up.
His great grandfather, Willie Layton, was part of the Sheffield Wednesday team that won league titles in 1903 and 1904 along with the FA Cup in 1907.
Knighton spent time on the books at Coventry City as an apprentice, but suffered a serious thigh injury that brought his promising career to a close.
In 1976, after completing his academic studies, the decision was taken to move into education and he became a geography and physical education instructor at a school in Huddersfield.
He progressed to the role of headmaster and in 1983 opted to buy the school he worked for, only to then take up retirement a year later in order to focus on his real estate interests.
It is in that field that he has generated much of his personal wealth.
Michael Knighton: What has he said about a Man Utd takeover?Getty Images
Back in August 1989, Knighton famously took to the field at Old Trafford to indulge in some keepie-uppies after it was revealed that his B#20m (\$24m) takeover bid had been accepted by then chief executive Martin Edwards.
He had promised to invest heavily in updating Unitedb s famous home ground, while also helping to bring in new faces on the field.
The deal never went through and Knighton went on to take in an ill-fated tenure as owner of Carlisle United after acquiring them in 1992 b with his 10 years at the helm there seeing him become a target for a seriously disgruntled fan base.
He is now back in the hunt for the Red Devils, as opposition to the Glazer family continues to build, and has told Man Utd The Religion: b We are a club in crisis and we all know the reason why. We have an inept and frankly useless ownership who know little about this game of football.
b Everyone knows that we need new ownership of this football club and that is my aim and those are my objectives. I am making good progress, continuing to talk to the people, I have got some good pledges and good finance.
b We are now working on the offer document. Remember, it is a hostile bid – that simply means that the club isn\’t officially for sale. But my intention is to present these owners with a legitimate, potent and commercial offer to say: \’You have run out of road, it\’s time go, because your time is up\’.
b We need to rid our football club of this ownership as they have had their day, time has run out and we have had 17 years of disappointment, really. It is time for them to go.b
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