Red Knights in retreat
The original Red Knight idea, that a bunch of well-heeled Man Utd supporters would club together to buy out the club, looks more-or-less dead.
I've spoken to a number of the potential investors and they all say the same thing: they can't see how to do it without paying more than the club is worth; and they don't want to throw their money away.
Why their pessimism?
Well, they'd need to find considerably more than £1bn in equity and debt to provide a return to the Glazers, the not-universally-popular current owners.
Which was always going to be challenging.
Even if the Red Knights had kept Man Utd's £500m of bond finance in place, they would still have had to find perhaps £600m of risk capital.
At, say, a £15m contribution per deep-pocketed fan, it required 40-odd Knights to dig into their respective treasure chests.
That wouldn't have been a doddle even in the balmy (or should that be barmy?) market climate of 2007. In the current volatile conditions of tumbling share prices and concerns about the risks of a lurch back into recession caused by the eurozone's woes, it's harder than breaking through Inter's defence.
So I would say that the prospect of an offer being made to the Glazers by a bunch of "ordinary" fans, who just happen to be worth a bob or two, is as likely as Blackpool winning the Premier League next year.
It's not going to happen.
Does that mean there'll be no takeover bid for Man Utd?
I am not quite saying that.
The Red Knights, advised by Nomura, is scouring the globe for the (you guessed it) inordinately wealthy investor with so much money that he or she can take an improbably long view of when ownership of Man Utd could deliver a profit.
Whether Man Utd's un-monied fans would believe that replacing the Glazers with a more conventional sugar daddy would be progress, I cannot say.
But, of course, with the Glazers having said all along that they don't want to sell, the clever money probably says there won't be a takeover of any kind any time soon.
Update 1500: My colleague David Bond has written a post called Glazers in no rush to pay off Man Utd debt.