Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer upped his stake in Manchester United by 30 percent Friday, meaning he now owns more than a quarter of the world's richest soccer club. \nThe dramatic move came just hours after Manchester United confirmed for the first time that Glazer had made a preliminary approach to take over the franchise. \nGlazer, who already owned 19.2 percent of the club, bought an additional 15.8 million shares Friday to take his stake to 25.5 percent, according to Glazer's associates in Britain, speaking on condition of anonymity. \nThe shares were purchased at a cost of around ?45 million (US$81.1 million) but not from the club's largest shareholders, Irish racehorse owners John Magnier and J.P. McManus, the associates said. \nMagnier and McManus own 28.89 percent of the club through their company Cubic Expression. \nThe Glazer family is required to make a statement to the London Stock Exchange tomorrow. \nNews of Glazer's purchase sent Manchester United's share price soaring by 8 percent. \nManchester United fan groups oppose any takeover of the club, which was valued Friday at PD688 million (US$1.24 billion). \n"I think Glazer is just trying to out-muscle United and outmuscle Cubic Expression," said Andy Walsh, spokesman for the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association. "I wouldn't be surprised if Glazer's next move is to demand seats on the board." \nAsked what Glazer's next move should be, Walsh replied: "He's not welcome, plain and simple. Clear off." \nEarlier, in a statement to the exchange, the Manchester United board said it had received no "definitive proposal" from Glazer. It confirmed that talks had broken off between Glazer and the Irish shareholders, \nThe Glazer family and the two Irishmen now own more than half the club. If either party reaches 30-percent ownership, stock market rules require a formal takeover bid. \n"The board understands that the Glazer Family continues to consider all its options in relation to its shareholding in Manchester United, including the possibility of making an offer," the club statement said. \nBeckham's mouth \nEngland coach Sven-Goran Eriksson wants his embattled captain David Beckham to keep his mouth shut. \nThat won't satisfy the English Football Association, which asked Beckham on Friday to explain his deliberate foul against a Welsh opponent last weekend in a World Cup qualifier. \nThe FA said Beckham had a week to file a written explanation and could face a fine, suspension or an official warning for "bringing the game into disrepute." \nThe yellow card in last Saturday's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Wales got Beckham an automatic suspension from the next game. He said he committed the foul when he realized he had picked up an injury that would force him to miss Wednesday's match against Azerbaijan, anyway. \nBeckham spoke out afterward, which Eriksson said was a mistake. Eriksson said he didn't have a problem with Beckham's action on the field, but admonished him for telling the media that he did it on purpose. \n"David should think next time that talking is silver, silence is golden," the Swede said. "He should be quiet and not say it in public." \nFIFA president Sepp Blattercriticized Beckham for violating the spirit of fair play and urged the FA to take action.
SCHEDULE CONFLICTS: While new dates have not been announced, somewhere around this year’s original dates would conflict with other major sports events next year The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will require sacrifices and compromises by all involved, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said yesterday, before predicting the completion of “a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games.” “Our mission is to organize Games and make [the] dreams of athletes come true,” Bach said, adding that although the Olympics must be held before the end of summer next year, the as-yet-undecided dates would not necessarily be restricted to summer months. Japanese yesterday awoke to the deflating reality that the Olympics they had hoped to host in Tokyo this summer were now probably 16 months away. The IOC
From perfecting pizza dough to fermenting tea, rugby players in Europe have found various ways to pass their time during the lockdown forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia international Scott Higginbotham, who plays for Bordeaux-Begles, has been busy in his kitchen during the confinement period, which started in France on March 17. “My wife and I take turns in going out, and doing a bit of exercise and a lot of cooking. Every meal is made from scratch,” Higginbotham told reporters last week. “I made my own pizza dough the other day, which was quite nice. I do love pizza,
While COVID-19 seeps daily into the consciousness of the White House, 1,900 kilometers away in Wichita, Kansas, a British tennis player is helping families who know poverty, but are yet to feel the full effects of the coronavirus. As Katie Swan waits for the Tour to resume — and for Wimbledon to decide whether or not to hold this year’s championships, scheduled to start on June 29 — she prepares part-time and turns the rest of her energies to helping disadvantaged people in her adopted city. The Bristol-born player has lived in Wichita for seven years with her mother, Nicki, her father,
BOARDROOM ACTION? Organizing committee head Yoshiro Mori said that some decisions could be made as early as this week when the executive board meets Tokyo Olympics organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled Games in the spring of next year. The signs point toward the summer. Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori suggested that there would be no major change from the plans they had for this year. “The Games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September,” Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Mori saying on Saturday. International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, after the postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in Switzerland on Tuesday last week, left open the possibility