Burmese Dictator Wanted To Buy Manchester United

Testament to their self-styled reputation as the world's most popular club, Manchester United have been name checked in that there WikiLeaks scandal currently enjoying many a column inch in the "proper" papers.

According to one leaked cable, Than Shwe, leader of the the military junta in Burma and "the 4th worst dictator in the world" was ready to put in a £1bn ($1.6 billion) bid for United last year — despite Burma trying (and failing) to recover from being smashed to pieces by Cyclone Nargis at the time.

Now there's a man with his priorities in order.

Shwe only canceled plans to submit a bid after deciding it might "look bad" trying to buy a football club a couple of months after 140,000 people had just been killed in the worst natural disaster in the country's history.

Apparently encouraged by his grandson, the 77-year-old believed holding a stake in United would "distract the population" from ongoing political and economic strife… although we're sure spending the £1bn on aid probably would've offered a nice distraction as well, really.

This post, written by Richard Gilzene, is republished with permission from The Spoiler. Go there often if you like soccer stuff.