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United look for their Amber Knight


It's the Red Knights at Manchester United, but Blue Square Premiership outfit Cambridge United are looking for an Amber Knight.   Fans have pledged about £1.2m to buy the Abbey Stadium back for the club.  But the supporters face a race against time to attract someone willing to stump up a £350,000 non-refundable deposit and prove they can raise the rest of the £3.5m needed to match what Grovesnor Developments have agreed to pay current owners Bideawhile.

Bideawhile is a company set up by former chairman John Howard and business partner Stephen Clark of Churchmanor property developers and investors.  They bought the ground for £1.9m in 2004 to stop the club going into administration.  United pay £240,000 a year to play there.

Howard and Clark have set a deadline of Wednesday for U's fans to stump up the deposit and demonstrate they can exercise the club's option to buy the ground back before it is sold to any third party.  Grovesnor have already signed contracts to buy it should not that happen.

Last week Cambridge Fans United unveiled plans for a Community Interest Company to be formed, where 3,700 shares would be sold at £1,000 each to generate the total needed to pay for the ground and other set-up costs.  If successful, they plan to lease the ground back to United at a greatly reduced rate, saving the club a six-figure sum each year.