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Zilliacus says offer to buy Man Utd still on the table

  • April 16, 2023

LONDON: Thomas Zilliacus insists his offer to buy Manchester United is still on the table after the Finnish tycoon declined to enter a third round of bidding for the Premier League club.

Zilliacus made a bid for United in March as he joined a heated takeover battle also featuring rival offers from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.

It appeared Zilliacus had withdrawn from the race this week when he said on social media that he would not participate “in a farce” after bidders were invited to lodge improved offers by April 28.

But Zilliacus, who has previously been involved with HJK Helsinki in his homeland, on Friday claimed his previous bid was still available for United’s owners the Glazer family to consider.

“My earlier offer still stands and I am willing to pay a premium above what I offered,” he told the BBC’s How To Buy A Football Club podcast.

“I’m not going to be participating in a third round because I find it highly unprofessional. I see no reason whatsoever why a third round is basically starting the whole thing from scratch.

“It seems odd to me that, if there is a genuine will to sell and you have three serious bidders, why you don’t sit down with the bidders, discuss and negotiate and hopefully come to a number that everyone can agree.”

Zilliacus, the founder of new social media organisation novaM Group, also criticised the US-based Glazers for conducting the potential sale at such a slow pace, with their asking price reported to be around £6 billion ($7.4 billion). The Glazers first announced their intention to consider a sale, or accept fresh investment, back in November.

Zilliacus says the drawn-out negotiations could hinder United manager Erik ten Hag’s bid to sign new players in the close-season transfer window.

“I can’t see the Glazers spending a lot of money on new players. If they have decided to sell the club, why would they do that?” he said.

“The potential to have a negative impact on the club is big and is growing every day when there is no decision on this.”

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