Manchester United FC corporate adviser Cazenove will not be able to give formal financial advice on Malcolm Glazer's takeover bid because of the investment bank's joint venture with JPMorgan, the American's financier.
Sources close to the bid said that Cazenove could not provide advice under Rule 3 of the Takeover Code, which requires a takeover target's financial adviser to justify publicly the commercial reasons for turning down a bid. The rule will come into play if Glazer makes a formal bid.
Cazenove can continue as corporate adviser, but Manchester United will need another investment bank, possibly broker Merrill Lynch, to give the formal opinion.
Club spokesperson Philip Townsend said the club and Cazenove had approached the UK Takeover Panel on the issue, but declined to comment further.
He also said that the board was happy to retain Cazenove, because "there were sufficient Chinese walls in place and sufficient separation" between Cazenove and JPMorgan.