Fans are concerned about a possible bid by Apollo Global Management
A Manchester United supporters group named 'Boycott Movement Against the Glazers' has threatened to harm the reputation of Apollo Global Management after the investment fund which was previously linked to the scandal surrounding disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein reportedly registered an interest in purchasing a stake in the club.
The United supporters group, which was formed in opposition to the deeply unpopular Glazer ownership of the Red Devils, wrote an open letter to Apollo amid reports that the US-based firm is in talks to purchase a minority interest in which they highlighted the group's links to the scandal surrounding Epstein, who died in an American prison in 2019 while awaiting sex trafficking charges.
In an open letter, the supporters asked fans to email Apollo to make them aware that they would not be welcome in Manchester. 'Boycott Movement Against the Glazers' has arranged previous campaigns against a host of brands linked to Manchester United, and were said to be central to The Hut Group withdrawing a Pound 200 million ($235 million) bid to become the team's training shirt sponsor last year.
The group has also targeted well-known brands such as Cadbury, Adidas, Tag Heuer and current sponsors TeamViewer.
"Let us be blunt: much like the reviled Glazer family, you are not welcome in Manchester. Do not invest," the open letter reads.
"Supporters will no longer allow the club to be a piggy bank for unscrupulous owners, or an asset stripping exercise for notorious equity firms.
"We say 'notorious' because it has come to light that Apollo's founder Leon Black has a chequered past with disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. We note too that your firm has had some rather unfortunate scandals regarding fraud.
"We say this genuinely and respectfully: for the sake of your company, your subsidiaries, your assets, do not go near our club.
"If you do, the biggest sports club supporter base in the world will do everything in our power to tarnish your reputation & and ensure it is synonymous with everything you hoped the world had forgotten."
Black severed ties with Apollo in 2021 soon after an investigation revealed that he had paid Epstein a sum of more than $150 million over a five-year period for supposed financial advice.
Apollo, though, said that it had no formal arrangement with Epstein and he was not an investor in the company.
News of Apollo's interest comes amid rumors that the Glazer family are considering selling a stake in Manchester United - which has in turn led British billionaire (and Manchester United supporter) Jim Ratcliffe to publicly express his interest in purchasing the club.
Manchester United have lost their opening two games of the current Premier League season and protests are expected ahead of Monday's clash with Liverpool over the handling of team affairs by the current owners.
Former United player Gary Neville, who has been a frequent critic of the Glazers ownership of the club, added on social media early Friday that he was firmly opposed to Apollo buying in, as well as expressing his opposition to the trend of American ownership in general.
"If the reports are true that the Glazer Family are ready to part sell ahead of a full sale it's totally unacceptable that this is to a US investment fund," he wrote on Twitter.
"Apollo have been mentioned but they need to know they will not be welcomed in Manchester."
He added: "The US model of sports ownership is all about significant return on investment (at all cost ie Super League and Big Picture). The ownership model in England needs to change and US money is a bigger danger to that than any other international money. We need a regulator asap!"
READ MORE: Why the US owners of an English football giant are so reviled