March 22 was the deadline for the second round of bids to buy Premier League side Manchester United, currently owned by the Glazer family.

Contrary to what has previously been reported, the two biggest favourites – Qatari sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad al-Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of chemicals company Ineos – reportedly made no bids before the deadline.

Instead, it should have requested a postponement, which should have been approved. It reports most British media, including Sky Sports.

HJK and Jokerit

One who, on the other hand, managed to make his bid on time was Finland-Swedish businessman Thomas Zilliacus, writes the BBC.

Zilliacus has previously been involved in Finnish football club HJK Helsinki and ice hockey team Jokerit, and bids through the investment firm XXI Century Capital.

"All sports clubs should belong to its supporters. The current trend where billion-dollar sheikhs and oligarchs buy clubs as their personal toys is not healthy," Zilliacus said in a statement.

Wants to combat racism

He hopes to co-own the club with the fans where he asks supporters to rattle off half of the purchase price, while Zilliacus' firm will provide the rest.

This, in turn, should give fans the opportunity to download an app where they can vote on important sporting decisions at the club.

Zilliacus also says he wants to work to counter racism and online hate through his intended investment.

"Manchester United should not only be the best football club in the world, but also a leader in countering threats, racism and hatred on social media and the stands."