This second post will touch on how, why and what. In This Fight Against Glazer I’ve seen four maybe five different groups of fans. You may class yourself as in all or in none.
First you have FC United, the 2005 group of fans which saw that Manchester United was no longer welcoming them. The Glazers banned IMUSA a big part of what alot of fans saw as the start of fans having say within the club. The deals reached with between the club and fans was ripped up. Who ever said the PLC wasn’t all good. £25 match tickets under the PLC, well not under Glazer.
Second group is Shareholders United, now known as the Manchester United Supporters Trust, another group of fans pushed aside and ignored by the Glazers. Until around January/February MUSTs main aim spend aload of cash on a club house. Now alot of fans think they are just collecting email addresses. I think MUST as a group do alot of work but some of the other things they’ve planned in the past just don’t add up. For example should MUST even have a view on Rooney signing? Clutching at straws. MUST had the Phoenix fund which is still going but if you ask anyone about it? What’s that? I’ve had a number of people asking me why don’t we set up a fund to buy the club back? I say we have one already. Do we? Yes Is Called the Capital Share Scheme. My view is MUST should be setting funding goals each year how much they plan to raise for the Capital Share Scheme. I’ve been actively tweeting for over 9 months about the Glazer issue. I have no idea how much they have currently raised. Back in 2006 it was around £2m. How Much Is In that fund now?
The Red Knights are mentioned alot next to MUST and I think its time MUST made a big decision. We were told a bid was coming. June and July came and went. Nothing happened. My view politely drop Keith Harris, keep it quiet until they can make a bid or start to lose the movement. The one good thing I can note which MUST has done in the last few weeks is to push the Government. MUST shouldn’t involve its self with Rooney. Instead it should be writing weekly letters to all different people, MPs, public departments and the PM/DPM offices pushing football ownership. It should be talking to all other supporters groups through supporters direct aiming to launch a join protest or some sort of join action which aims at promoting the issue of fan ownership. This could start in the form of letter signed by all clubs part of supporters direct calling for change. Second needs to be pressuing the Minister For Sport – Hugh Robertson for change. An another active letter for starts by all clubs to him would show we won’t accept half hearted measures. Following the responses pressure can be called on where to go next. I have contacted Hugh and I got the response back its not The Governments to tell the FA/PL what to do but they will pressure them to put certain changes into place. What about charities? Banks? and other areas? They all have their own laws should sport be allowed to do as it pleases when it clearly cannot control its self. If they cannot run themselfs correctly it is the Governments job to step in. They stepped in with the banks, if should step in when Pompey, Westham and other clubs need to be saved from certain owners. It is not acceptable to say its not the Governments job. They created laws in the stands when that was a problem, they can have laws on the ownership of clubs. If Cameron finally wants to do something right fix this, I might just vote for you at the next election. Otherwise I don’t think I’ll bother.
The next group is the Love United Hate Glazer movement. Some see this as a militant group but I’d say its more of a movement. You need the guys who cause some trouble and anger in a fight like this to keep that interest going. I can’t really fault them, doing what they can with small resources showing that in the ground even a flag can’t even be shown without CES thugs ripping it down. That’s one thing I do not like about Glazer. Inside Old Trafford they treat fans like dirt then threaten them over and over again.
When we consider the groups above they likely cover a large % of hardcore fans. I’d say the 4th and 5th groups are two groups of fans. One side knows Glazer is bad for the club but isn’t someone who will boycott or doesn’t fully understand the options either on offer. They ask the simple question, ‘how are we going to get rid of the glazers?’ and expect you to answer in less than 9 words. If you don’t they don’t really want to know. Its too hard for their minds to accept anything else other than what’s happening now. This is the group putting the most into the club interms of revenue. They’ll either go to all the games or they won’t go to any but they’ll have the latest AON shirt. I’d say this group of fans is still quiet large but I expect it too drop in size hugely if Glazer makes the wrong move. My view it drops in size every day.
The last group of fans is a smaller group of fans, this is the most worrying set. This is either the fan who thinks United made £100m last year have £160m in the bank whats the problem. The fan who either doesn’t know about the debt or knows about it in great detail but still doesn’t see a problem. This is the business model person or the new fan from India or China. The business model person may see your argument about it being a football club but the money issues will not be a problem for them. That for me is the most worrying thing for every fan you or I tell there will be 1000 more who don’t know the full facts.
In every 1000 fans most people will go into these groups and that’s where the group talk stops. If you support FC United or go to every United this season, and think the Glazers are good because we won the league three times, the point is, its time we all started a fresh, become United, see the club as a club, not a business, then push for what this should have started out as. The fans aim to own part of the club. MUST need to move on, they need pressure the government and then set funding targets. The fans need to unite. In my view it can be that simple but this is Manchester United. Nothing is ever that easy.
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