100 Owners: Number 91 – Michael Knighton (Carlisle United)

At opposite ends of the Football League, he was involved in events which bookended the 1990s, and his failure to take control of one of the biggest football clubs in the world remains one of the great “what if” questions of that last couple of years before the introduction of the Premier League. Michael Knighton, however, was much more than just a cartoon character. His actions led to a near-death experience for the only Football League club in Cumbria, and his departure from the game in 2002 was related to business dealings that earned him a disqualification from acting as the director of any company. Michael Knighton was brought up in Derbyshire. He was a reasonably talented footballer, good enough to get a trial at Everton – where he didn’t make the grade – and Coventry City, before a serious leg injury ruined any chances that he might have had of become a player. He studied at Durham University and became a teacher before moving into the property market, but the desire to get involved in football was, apparently, a flame that couldn’t be extinguished and 1989 a once in a lifetime opportunity came his way, an opportunity to buy into a football club that was a global institution that had fallen upon tough times. And Knighton nearly pulled it off. By 1989, it was more than twenty years since...

Read More