According to leaked news cables recently published on the now-infamous whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks (which you may not be surprised to find has now been taken offline), one of the world’s most brutally oppressive, secretive and totalitarian football clubs were the subject of a proposed takeover bid from the fine-fettled leader of Burma’s military junta in January of 2009.
As quoted on the Guardian‘s website this very morn, a news-wire sent from the US embassy in Rangoon to Washington revealed that, either early last year or in late in 2008, Burma’s despotic nutter-in-chief Than Shwe (pictured) was advised by his grandson to look into the possibility of buying Manchester United Football Club outright.
The cable is claimed to have carried details of a $1 billion (£634 million) bid that was under consideration, before eventually being ditched in favour of creating a new Burmese football league:
“One well-connected source reports that the grandson wanted Than Shwe to offer $1bn for Manchester United. The senior general thought that sort of expenditure could look bad, so he opted to create for Burma a league of its own.”
Thankfully, the bid proposal did not reach the stage of an official approach made to United’s current owners (the Glazer family), but it is reported to have been cooked up as a desperate measure to divert unwanted attention away from Burma’s crippling domestic problems – with the country still reeling in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which killed around 140,000 people in May of 2008.
Just imagine, United ruled over by a self-obsessed, power-hungry partriarch who systematically isolates then extricates any critical element within his long-standing regime.
It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?