The Manchester United fans’ group trying to oust the Glazer family owners claims its membership has soared since it began helping to form a takeover bid.

Under the “Red Knights” banner, the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has teamed up with a group of leading financiers to raise funds for a bid.

The group says the key to any bid succeeding is attracting 100,000 members, and MUST claims to be 22,000 off the target.

A month ago, MUST’s membership was 36,000, but largely as a result of the Red Knights going public on Tuesday, numbers had shot up to around 78,000 by Wednesday morning.

Fans are angry that debt arising from Malcolm Glazer’s 2005 leveraged takeover has risen to 716.5 million pounds ($1.1 billion).

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