Keith Harris: "Glazers Will Not Sell"
The executive chairman of Seymour Pierce, Keith Harris, believes that a bid from the Red Knights to buy Manchester United would be totally pointless, as the Glazer Family have no intention of selling.
The Red Knights are a consortium of wealthy businessmen, who were interested in buying Manchester United, but have had stalling points due to the club’s uneconomical, financial situation. The consortium are still commited to buying the club, but Harris, who is part of the Knights, does not believe any bid would make an impression.
“The message I thought came loud and clear from the current owners that they are not interested in selling it“, Harris said. “I’ve been around long enough in the trading business to know that for a trade to happen it requires a seller and a buyer who will meet. If the owner is not a seller and owns all of it and isn’t under pressure to sell it then there isn’t going to be a deal. Bids were tabled in the past and were declined. They obviously don’t feel under pressure or under desire to do it today.”
Harris is a die hard United fan, he openly admits, and would love to see his club become stable and financially powerful again. Although United attract millions of fans worlwide and their commercial revenue is still as powerful as ever, a portion of the money registered has to go to reducing the debt.
Recently, Harris came under public criticism by United chief executive, David Gill, over leaked news of the Red Knights’ bid for the club. Gill labelled Harris a publicity hound and Harris had the chance to respond to those allegations, but refused. “I wasn’t involved in the Red Knights going public. There was a reporter that got a wind of it. I don’t believe in these things going public until the right moment.“, Harris said. He also added that “personal assaults don’t have a place in business“, taking a subtle swipe at the United chief executive.
Whatever happens, it is going to take a long time to get Man United’s financial situation back to normal. With reported debts in excess of £800 million, the Glazers or potential new owners will have to pump money back into the club. This could take a huge number of years and English football will hope that the Old Trafford side do not follow the lines of Portsmouth and lower league clubs in plunging in finances and resulting in docked points and potential liquidation. Even if you hate United, it is a competitive league with them in it and they are, alongside Liverpool, one of the forerunners for European success and domestic dominance.