Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus entered the dispute for the purchase of Manchester United with a plan that doesn’t seem to have much chance of success: he intends to acquire half of the club with the other half supported by the fans, who will be his partners and will be part of the decisions.
Zilliacus was a director of the Nokia phone company and is a huge football fan who claims to have made his fortune in the technology sector in Asia.
He currently lives in Singapore and in 1998 created the Mobile FutureWorks (MFW) investment fund, specializing in new technologies.
The company, which is not listed on the Stock Exchange, claims to be present in the sector of social networks, online payment services, eSports, online videos and real estate business.
MFW claims to control more than 150 companies in 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, with a total value of more than US$ 3 billion (approximately R$ 16 billion, at current prices).
At the age of 69, Zilliacus presents himself as a “surprise guest” in the negotiations for the sale of Manchester Unitedwhich has already received offers from Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), which is chaired by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and British millionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
Each made a proposal of 5 billion pounds (more than R$ 32 billion), while the Glazer family, which owns the club, intends to receive at least 6 billion (R$ 38.8 billion).
As the Finnish businessman is unable to approach such a proposal, his plan is to acquire 50% of the shares and finance the other half together with Manchester United fans, “through a company created especially for this”.
According to the Finnish television station YLE, Zilliacus even played for Fluminense’s youth teams. He later co-owned Jokeric, one of the top ice hockey teams, and was also president of the Helsinki JK football club.
In 1980, he joined Nokia and worked there until 1993, when he stepped down as the company’s head of worldwide communications.
Kingston is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his in-depth and engaging writing on sports. He currently works as a writer at 247 News Agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the sports industry.