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Red Knights put takeover on hold

The Red Knights have shelved their plans to buy Manchester United until a "sensible price" can be agreed with the current owners, the Glazer family.

• Gill: Protest will not go away

It was expected the Red Knights, a conglomerate of wealthy United fans, would launch a formal bid for the Old Trafford outfit at some point before the World Cup.

However, the Glazers last week stated they had no intention of selling the club. It's reported the American owners have rejected a £1.5 billion bid from a Far East consortium and the Red Knights see little point making a lower offer.

"The Red Knights remain committed to pursuing their efforts to try and help bring ownership of Manchester United to its supporters, and under a structure with materially less debt," the group said in a statement.

"As we have maintained however since news of our ambitions first emerged in March, we will only attempt to purchase the club at a sensible price, consistent with the long-term interests of the club.

"Persistent speculation in the media of inflated valuation aspirations has made our goals less attainable, as potential investors have strongly reinforced our views that we should not move forward at a price uneconomic for the future of the club."

It effectively means the Red Knights will not move forward until they get an indication United would be sold for around £1 billion, a sum they believe is realistic given current market conditions.

The news will come as a major disappointment to fans opposed to the current owners and those who have mounted the highly visible 'Green and Gold' campaign against them.

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