Saddle Up!

Who exactly are these “Red Knights” at Man United?

Careful Glazers, there’s a posse a-comin’!


Anyone with sleeping issues might have spent a couple of hours last night enjoying Young Guns on Channel Five. If not, to refresh your memory, it’s a cowboy romp from the 1980s, featuring mainly the various children of Martin Sheen pretending to shoot people. Basically, it’s The Breakfast Club doing A Fistful of Dollars.

Brilliant film. And one that brought to mind the wonderful posse mentality of the bygone era. An era that has been echoed in today’s football news, with rumours of a gathering posse intent on knocking the Glazers from their Man United perch.

The word on the street (the street being The Daily Telegraph) is that a gang of wealthy Man United supporters, who go by the name of the Red Knights, are plotting a buy out of the club using around £1billion in freshly ironed notes. But who are these moneyed outlaws? Read on and you’ll find out…

Keith Harris - no relation to the man with a rare green duck for an arm, this Keith Harris is the head of the merchant bank, Seymour Pierce. He has a rather glittering CV, which includes a period as the chief executive of the investment bank at HSBC, he’s been involved in at least four football takeovers, and he helped the notorious newspaper maniac Richard Desmond buy The Express. He’s the leader.

Mark Rawlinson - A high flying suit wearer at Freshfield’s corporate practice, Rawlinson specialises in being a hotshot legal brain. He’s been the go-to-guy in so many impressive deals that the exciting weekly read, Legal Week, named him “Deal Lawyer of the Year” once. His offices, as with so many Man United supporters, are on Fleet Street.

Jim O’Neill – Wealthy businessman, Jim, works for the much-adored investment bank, Goldman Sachs – a breeding ground for political eggheads, and men who like to work hard, then party in their underpants at the weekend. He was once described as “the top foreign-exchange economist anywhere in the world in the past decade”. Quite good at his job, then.

Paul Marshall - Every posse needs a more sensitive member – if only to stop everyone from going completely berserk – and that role presumably falls to Paul. His sensitivity is most apparent thanks to his various affiliations with children’s charities, as well as his position as adviser to Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats. But don’t be fooled, this man isn’t to be crossed. He founded Marshall Wace, one of Europe’s largest hedge fund groups.

Richard Hytner – The quiet one in the group – a sweeping declaration, made on the assumption that every posse needs a quiet one. He might actually be really loud. Richard is the Deputy Chairman Worldwide at the famous ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. He studied at Cambridge, and apparently loves Kendal Mint Cake. Seriously.

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