The group of wealthy United fans confirmed earlier this month they were considering the feasibility of putting a proposal to current owners the Glazer family.

Since then the consortium, which includes Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill and leading football deal-maker Keith Harris, have progressed with their planning.

A statement from the Red Knights today read: "In the next few weeks we will continue to work on our proposal. We do not expect this to be finalised before the end of the current football season.

"This will have the advantage of minimising external distractions as the team enters the decisive period of the season."


The Glazers have continued to insist the club is not for sale and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been publicly supportive of the Americans.

But the fans' anger at the regime, who piled a huge amount of debt on the club in completing their controversial takeover in 2005, has become increasingly vehement this season.

The 'Green and Gold campaign' has seen thousands of supporters don the colours of United under their original guise of Newton Heath, and the Manchester United Supporters Trust has backed the Red Knights' campaign.

The consortium insist their plans are on track and that the number of fans willing to invest in a takeover bid is growing.

The statement continued: "The Red Knights have been liaising with the Manchester United Supporters Trust, and their representatives were at our first meeting on March 2. They remain closely involved with our plans.

"On March 12 we involved Nomura as our adviser. Since then they have been speaking to and meeting many potential Red Knights who have contacted us since our interest was made public.

"These potential Red Knights have offered ideas and support and, with the help of this input, our plans have been developed further."