Man Utd bidder who withdrew takeover offer now ‘facing arrest’ in Singapore | Football | Sport

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Singapore police have issued an arrest warrant and an Interpol Red Notice against former Manchester United bidder Thomas Zilliacus. The Finnish businessman rivalled Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim of Qatar during a lengthy takeover saga last year.

Zilliacus withdrew his proposal to buy the Premier League club after the Glazer family owners announced a third round of bids in April 2023. He called the process a “farce” and accused the Glazers of “giving no respect” to the club.

But the 67-year-old now finds himself the subject of an arrest warrant in Singapore. Zilliacus is wanted over his alleged involvement in the release of misleading statements by YuuZoo, a company he previously headed in the city-state.

“Upon investigation, several such financial reports released by YuuZoo between 2015 and 2016 were alleged to be materially misleading in that they overstated YuuZoo’s revenue by US$4.6 million (£3.6m) to US$18.8 million (£14.8m),” the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement.

Zilliacus was one of only three parties to make public their interest in buying United when the Glazers put the club up for sale in winter 2022. He pulled his bid the following spring and was critical of the way the process had been run by the club’s owners.

“The delays will make it very difficult for any new owner to build a winning team for next season. The bidding is turning into a farce, with Glazers giving no respect to the club,” he wrote on social media platform X.

“Jim Ratcliffe, Sheikh Jassim and myself all were ready to negotiate a deal to buy United. Instead Glazers chose to start a new round. I will not participate in a farce set up to maximise the profit for the sellers at the expense of Manchester United.”

Zilliacus had previously suggested the unique idea of all three bidders merging their offers to match the Glazers’ £6bn asking price. “I don’t see any reason why I can’t work with Sir Jim and Sheikh Jassim. It makes perfect sense,” he told the Mirror in March 2023.

“We could agree on a price the Glazers will accept and instead of one of us paying a huge sum to buy United, we split the cost into three. We then use the money we have saved to improve the club and pool our collective expertise to help rebuild the club we all love.”

The Glazers eventually rowed back on their plans to sell all their shares in United, instead seeking minority investment. INEOS chief Ratcliffe won that battle, and this week saw a bid for 25 per cent of the club ratified by the Premier League and the Football Association.

The petrochemicals magnate’s team will oversee an overhaul of the sporting operation at Old Trafford. Ratcliffe will also work closely with the Glazer family on the commercial arm of the club.

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