Man Utd: The takeover maths
Now that the Red Knights have formally appointed Guy Dawson of Nomura to advise them on their plans to bid for Manchester United, there can be no doubt of their serious intent.
Dawson has been one of London's most prominent corporate advisers for 25 years. And Nomura is Japan's leading investment bank, by a margin.
So what will Dawson actually do?
Well his first priority is to interview the 50 odd wealthy individuals who've indicated to the Knights that they'd provide funds for a bid - to see if money really will follow mouth.
The sums required are not trivial.
Here's the basic maths.
The Knights would probably leave the £500m of debt recently raised by Man Utd in the bond market in place - so long as bondholders can't force them to repay (which is by no means certain).
But the Knights would want to buy out the so-called payment-in-kind notes, which is debt whose interest rate is currently an eye watering 14.25%, rising to a penal 16.25% in August.
Redeeming that debt would probably cost more than £230m.
Of course the Knights' priority is to buy out the equity in the business held by the Glazer family.
The Glazers reportedly invested $495m of their own money into the business - equivalent at today's exchange rate to £330m.
Since the Glazers aren't forced sellers, they will presumably demand a hefty premium to what they paid before they even contemplate cashing in.
Let's assume that they would think about dealing if offered a 50% uplift - which is not an outrageous gain on an investment held for five years.
That would mean the Knights would have to find £500m for them.
Rounding up, that implies that the Knights need to raise £750m in total, to buy out the Glazers and pay off the cripplingly expensive payment-in-kind debt.
Would that be a walk in the park?
If in the end some 50 deep-pocketed Man Utd fans can be persuaded to stump up, each would have to provide £15m.
Which is quite a lot to pay for a lifetime season ticket.
If David Beckham were to follow up on last night's sartorial gesture of support for the ousting of the Glazers with a cheque, he might not notice any serious shrinkage in his bank balance. But even in the City of London's bonus-land, there aren't that many football supporters keen to invest that kind of sum purely for the love of a club.
Of course it's theoretically possible that Nomura will be able to demonstrate that there's lots of money to be made from investing in Man Utd at an enterprise value of £1.25bn (which is the sum of the £750m take-out price and the bond debt).
However, the profitable upside is not conspicuous, given that Man Utd's annual turnover is just £278m, or less than a quarter of the putative takeover valuation.