Colonel Gaddafi 'Was A Whisker Away' From Buying Manchester United

Colonel Gaddafi 'Was A Whisker Away' From Buying Manchester United

Revolutionary, politician and quite nearly owner of the biggest club in the world.

Manchester United's colourful ownership history is back in the news amidst rumours of a potential sale, but it could have taken a very different turn in 2005.

Turkish-Cypriot financier Mehmet Dalman, who brokered the Glazer family's takeover of Manchester United, once revealed to the Sunday Times that Colonel Gaddafi was "hours" from taking over the club. Dalman flew to flew to Libya in 2004 to discuss the deal with Gadaffi's advisers that would see the Libyan buy-out John Magnier and JP McManus's 28.9% stake.

People don't realise how the [takeover] deal was a whisker away from going to Libya. Gadaffi almost bought the club. That's how close it got - literally, you're talking about a few hours.


The eccentric Libyan leader that was Muammar Gaddafi died in 2011. His son, Saadi Gadaffi, also discussed the potential deal in 2005 in an interview with the Financial Times.

Seven or eight months ago we were about to buy shares in Manchester United. We kept it secret because I thought we were going to do it. But now it's impossible. I told my father it would be like buying the Church of England. It's very hard, maybe impossible because of the fans and the history, very difficult.

It's a golden, golden, golden, golden club.

Instead, Magnier and McManus agreed to sell the 28.89% stake for £3 a share to the American family. It saw them make a reported profit of €125 million.

Oh, what might have been.

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