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Zilliacus on Man Utd takeover bid: Great fans' feedback; this model can work

Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus says it's time for the fans to take control of Manchester United.

The former Nokia executive has further outlined his fan-led vision for the club post-Glazers amid a warning that a bidding war will give the incumbents exactly what they desire.

"I'm not as wealthy as Sheikh Jassim or Sir Jim Ratcliffe but I'm wealthy enough to place a serious and credible bid," the 69-year-old told the Mirror. “It's not with my own money only but together with other parties, other investors, who would like to join me. If we don't reach the total number then maybe with money from third parties. I believe we can do it by bringing fans together and not bringing in any external financing."

Zilliacus is proposing a model where supporters all chip in a small fee for a 50/50 stake alongside him - though he has also informed Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe that he would be keen on owning a third of the club alongside them.

He added: “In Scandinavia most clubs are majority owned by fans. I really would like to reverse in a way the development taking place in the Premier League.

“I've been looking for a long time at how clubs are owned in Europe and it's not to my liking. Nothing against people from other parts of the world but many of these recent acquisitions have been made in a way where it's like buying a luxury yacht or estate instead of a football club and the owners have forgotten about fans.

“They don't understand the tradition or history of football like we do having grown up here. So I decided to put in a bid where I would involve fans on equal footing. It's not about getting them to put up money - money is available in this world for good projects - but to make them feel part of the club in a genuine way and they are also there for the decision-making."

Raine Group made him sign a non-disclosure agreement on Wednesday before accepting his offer but he admits to being at a disadvantage due to his late arrival denying him an opportunity to examine financial details available to other interested parties.

But he says the reaction from fans has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I've had a lot of feedback from supporters. I come from a culture where we're very open in our belief that talking is the best way to achieve good results. Fans have been able to call me, both individuals and fan clubs.

"They've voiced support and I'm happy for that. I genuinely want fans to be involved in great detail. Fans have not been happy with how things have been managed at the club and I want to change that."

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