Industrial Sabotage at Manchester United?

When I first saw remarks like those I’m about to quote, I let it pass with an oblique comment (in the Portsmouth post from last week). But industrial sabotage — driving down the price of a company in order to take it over more cheaply — is a crime, is it not? If so, why would anyone connected with a takeover bid make the claims that a Mr. Keith Harris has allegedly made to Sky Sports News?

Representatives from law firm Freshfields and investment bank Goldman Sachs, among others, are understood to have been involved in the secret meeting.

Informally known as ‘the Red Knights’, the group held talks regarding a potential offer to buy out the Glazer family, who are unpopular with United fans.

…Keith Harris, who has been involved with the group considering a potential takeover, recently called on supporters to start boycotting matches in an attempt to force the Glazers’ hand.

Harris said last week: “Turning up to games 10 minutes late and things like that just doesn’t do the job.

“The green and gold protest is fabulous, a symbolic and significant message to the owners. It is like the white handkerchiefs in Spain. But that won’t force the Glazers to sell to us.

“However, if enough people – and I am talking about thousands – stop turning up to matches and do not renew their tickets, then that does it. The supporters have to hurt the Glazers in their pockets.

…” would not talk about this if I didn’t have full confidence in our ability to raise the money to do this. I never talk publicly unless I have confidence. Getting the money together is the easy bit.

“But we can’t make an offer until the Glazers are placed in a position where they are forced to consider it.”

People, do the world a service and educate me! This stuff can’t be credible, can it?

Update: Here’s a story from the BBC where you can view and listen to Mr. Harris speak on the subject.