Class of '92 Members Buy Salford City Despite Rumours of Manchester United Bid

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Class of '92 Members Buy Salford City Despite Rumours of Manchester United Bid
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Gary Neville and other members of the Class of '92 have purchased Salford City pending FA and league approval (via Sky News).

The report also states that the deal will be completed in the summer.

Neville spoke about the club following the announcement of the deal:

I had my first trial for Manchester United in Salford at age 11 and I will never forget how important that was to me.

Salford City FC to me represents those early years, the commitment, hunger, enthusiasm, desire and spirit of football and I am very excited about this venture.

The purchase comes on the heels of rumours linking the group to a possible takeover bid of Manchester United. 

Guy Patrick and Simon English of The Sun (subscription required) report that some of the club's most loved sons may be about to become the face of a new bid for the ownership of the English football giant.

Per The Telegraph:

David Beckham and fellow members of Manchester United's 'Class of 92' are exploring the possibility of being part of a consortium which is bidding to buy the club, according to a report last night.

The Sun claimed that Beckham, Paul Scholes, Phil and Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt have held talks about fronting a takeover which would be backed by money from the Middle East.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The news would excite United fans across the globe, with thoughts of David Beckham and company being involved in the running of the team in years to come.

However, the Mail Online claims United have quickly rubbished reports of a takeover:

Club sources insist the club is not up for sale, with the Glazers determined to stay in charge and oversee a rebuilding job to challenge once again at the top of the table.  

Not long after United's denial, the deal for Salford City was announced, one that had been in the works for some time prior to the rumours linking the group to United.

United have suffered hugely in the last few months after the retirement of iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson, with the question of ownership always at the forefront of supporters' minds. 

Beckham is currently developing his own ambitions of team ownership, creating a new MLS team in Miami, per Chris Smith of The Guardian.

The Glazer family have never publicly displayed any intention to sell the club. However, with a huge rebuilding of the United squad needed that will personally cost them hundreds of millions of pounds, they might feel this is the right time to sell.

The Guardian columnist David Conn was clear on his views about the Glazers and their spending:

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Conn's words ring true, and the current direction of the club may start to put doubts into the American owners' minds about how they can capitalise their stakes in United to a maximum. 

Betfred boss and lifelong United supporter Fred Done was frank in his view that United need new ownership, per Adam Shergold's article for the Mail Online

Done believes the club needs Middle East or similar investment, and attacked the Glazers model of ownership:

They're sat in Florida while 70,000 who love the club are paying for their debt and dividends and are not seeing a good team. We're watching rubbish.

It's purely a financial instrument for the Glazers. When the right cheque is waved at them they will go. It will take an Arab sheik or a Russian oligarch. Look at City. They are murdering them.

When you go there everything from the catering to what is on the pitch is better than United at the moment. Sheik Mansour does not care about a return on his money. He has done fantastic for City and for the city of Manchester. The Glazers want dividends.

The Middle East's interest in Premier League football is at an all-time high, with Manchester City being the most prominent purchase. Adding United to that portfolio would take the region's credibility to new levels. 

With a World Cup in Qatar in the near future, United would be a vehicle to tie in with this and future events. The ousting of the Glazers would be hugely popular with fans, and the added involvement of the Class of '92 would increase the backing for this greatly. 

Beckham and his former teammates are multimillionaires, and the chance to have a say in the running of their former club might prove too tempting to turn down.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Ownership seems a valid route to stay in football for the wealthiest former professionals now, and investing long term into United could be an excellent financial call. 

Despite this, the Glazers have always shown resolve over their practices at United and, if they can correct results on the pitch, they will dig their heels in and stay put.

Any bid from the Middle East would have to be astronomical to even get them to talk about a possible sale of the Old Trafford club. 

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