07 December 2010

Junta 'eyed Man Utd buy'

LONDON - English football giants Manchester United were once the target of a takeover by the Myanmese military junta, according to an American diplomatic document revealed by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

A cable sent from the US embassy in Yangon to Washington, details of which have been published on the website of British daily newspaper the Guardian, revealed military commander-in-chief Than Shwe was advised by his grandson before January 2009 to look into the possibility of buying United.

The cable said an offer of US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) was under consideration before being scrapped in favour of creating a new football league in the troubled Asian nation.

This proposal, which never became an offer to United's American-based owners the Glazer family, was reportedly motivated by a desire to draw attention away from domestic issues such as the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, which led to around 140,000 deaths in 2008.--Full story at The Straits Times

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