Manchester United, Michael Knighton and the Football Revolution, 1989–2019

– By Phillip Vine, with Michael Knighton

Key features

  • An insider account of life at Manchester United at a crucial time in the club’s history when fortunes were transformed
  • A fast-paced tale of Michael Knighton’s aborted takeover of the club in 1989
  • Claims that Knighton was the prime mover in the ‘big bang’ commercialisation of football in England
  • Controversially claims that Knighton, in an unacknowledged axis with Alex Ferguson, was responsible for United’s most successful period in their history
  • A stunning colour photo section capturing some of the exciting events from the period

Michael Knighton is one of the most notable football entrepreneurs of his generation. Thirty years ago he arrived on the scene at Manchester United, bearing the revolutionary gift of ideas for the transformation of the club’s fortunes. Visionary tells the inside story of his time at Old Trafford – a crucial, incendiary era in United’s history. Knighton is popularly known as the man who very nearly bought Manchester United for the giveaway price of £10 million. Ultimately, he spurned the opportunity to complete the purchase, opting instead to join the board and watch as his radical ideas for a commercial revolution were put into action. Visionary argues the case for Knighton as the architect of the richest football club and greatest sporting brand on the planet – and that it was Knighton’s unacknowledged axis with Alex Ferguson that enabled a paradigm shift in United’s fortunes on the field of play, leading to unparalleled glories. Sam Wallace of the Daily Telegraph called Michael’s tale ‘one of the great football stories of our time’.


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