The leader of Burma's military junta considered making a $1bn bid to buy Manchester United around the time it was facing rising anger from the United Nations over its "unacceptably slow" response to cyclone Nargis.
Than Shwe, commander in chief of the armed forces and a fan of United, was urged to mount a takeover bid by his grandson, according to a cable from the US embassy in Rangoon. "One well-connected source reports that the grandson wanted Than Shwe to offer $1bn for Manchester United," said the June 2009 cable. "The senior general thought that expenditure could look bad, so he opted to create for Burma a league of its own." GNS