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Thomas Zilliacus has previously admitted that he would be interested in partnering with Sheikh Jassim or Sir Jim Ratcliffe to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family. But he is also confident he can bring something different to the table if his fan-focused bid succeeds.
Zilliacus wants to hand one of the world’s largest fanbases power to contribute to the club’s decision-making process using technology, the source of his fortune.
The Finnish entrepreneur has made it known he is willing to team up with Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe to end the Glazers’ 18-year tenure as United owners.
But he has also laid out his grand plans for if his individual takeover attempt is successful, putting fans at the heart of the club.
“My bid for the club doesn’t involve fans buying shares to help me finance the deal,” Zilliacus explained.
“First of all, I will buy the club with the help of other interested investors, and the next step would be to offer shares to supporters.
“I want to get to a stage when the fans own 49 per cent of the club and will have a voice in the way we operate.
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Thomas Zilliacus wants to buy Man Utd. (Image: Getty)
“Let me clarify, the fans won’t decide which players get picked every Saturday, but they will be involved in the more philosophical policies.
“I won’t be shy about my aspirations. It is my intention to run the club in a profitable way.
“But it is only right that the supporters have an influence on how the club’s money is spent.
“Are dividends paid out to shareholders? Should the money be used for play acquisitions or to upgrade the stadium?
“The executives who run the club would never make a decision that goes against what the majority of the fans want.”
Zilliacus accepts that he is the outsider in the running to buy United but insists that he’s an expert in his field and has even shared one of his fan-focused ideas.
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The Glazer family reportedly want £6bn to sell Man Utd. (Image: Getty)
“I have already spoken to my tech team about United – and there are so many new and exciting possibilities that would open the club up to supporters in Singapore or Nigeria, or the United States.
“They would participate in a fan experience like no other. It would be like they are actually inside Old Trafford or watching the squad train. They would be able to interact with the players.
“If you have half a billion fans and you charge them $3 for an annual subscription, that equates to $1.5billion that would go straight into the club.
“I’m not an Arab Sheikh, nor am I the richest man in the UK, but I am an expert in my chosen field, and I understand the possibilities. And that is just one idea I have.”
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