Posts Tagged → United
Half a century of blogs on football governance and ownership issues but this 50th blog will look at how the club deals with the fans. It’s not only just the two issues of ownership and governance which are important to me. It’s the whole football experience, a change of ownership could improve allocations, standing and the general football experience. Currently that’s impossible to get across.
One issue which keeps popping up is tickets and allocations. In the modern game you’d think this wouldn’t be a problem but it’s a massive problem. The standard Premier League allocation for league games for each away team is either 3,000 tickets or 10% of the capacity. It is very rare these days that United see a full allocation of tickets. The main reason that does the rounds is normally persistent standing but it seems this isn’t the case. Each stadium, club and council has it’s own way of dealing with these things and normally the fan visiting has no involvement and isn’t contacted by anyone. When an allocation is cut such as away at Tottenham or Sunderland the reasoning is kept behind closed doors. The club ‘Manchester United’, don’t investigate or publish why the allocation is as it is. When a letter is sent out from the club with the tickets the only word ever used is ‘persistent standing’ but if you ever contract Tottenham Football Club or the local council, the word ‘standing’ is unlikely to the used. The words ‘Health and Safety’ are more likely to be used and the real reason isn’t clear.
Manchester United as a club fail time and time again on behalf of the fans to deal with the issue. There is also a group called ‘the fans forum’ and what they do? I have no idea. Since the club don’t allow criticism of anything they do anymore, there isn’t really much point in the group. Allocations are still dropping, drinks and tickets prices are still going up. Those are the three things most fans are interested in. IMUSA in the past was that group, they called for lower ticket prices and worked with the club on controlling standing and allocations. There is no group like this anymore which challenges the club. It still exists externally but now it has no role within the club.
The club should be challenging standing and allocations. It’s rumoured the standing it’s self isn’t the problem. Keeping the fans informed should be number one and if there is an issue which has affected an allocation it’s best to advise the fans what the issue is. If the real issue isn’t made known it can’t be fixed and it cannot be challenged in the future.
Alot of people say the Green & Gold is dead and nothing is happening. For me, that’s very far from the real story. This is a waiting game but there are a number of things going on in the back ground. This ranges from now until summer and we should hear news on them. First there is the case of where the missing £249m came from, to pay Glazers debt off. Andersred as ever always has he eye cast out and there is always the likely hood that could pop up again. There are also rumours of a takeover by Qatar but that’s nothing more than rumours. Until it happens we won’t know a thing. If nothing more comes by the summer months there is still hope.
This next piece is in black and white. This will happen. As I type the Government are reviewing football. Its not rumoured or made up. It is happening. They don’t like Manchester United’s debt or the culture of the Premier League. They want to sort it out. By May this year the Government will have completed its review of how to deal with football ownership and football governance. The proposals will be published during May on Football Governance and hopefully through the FA, they will start putting through the changes needed so we and many others can take a stake in their club. They know the problems and hopefully they’ll be robust.
In the last year alot has been said about football ownership but there are still afew totally clueless people who write things they have no knowledge about. Cue Louise Taylor of the Guardian I don’t often get offended but this does offend me. There are certain areas which have been discussed over the last year and most people understand what would and wouldn’t happen. Thinking ‘all clubs’ under supporter football ownership schemes would have all their fans vote online for the first 11 every time they play, means you really don’t have a clue. Ebbsfleet are the worst example of football ownership going and its not slightly comparable with the examples myself and many 100,000s of others would accept. Thinking Manchester United would be taken over by the fans and then the fans would vote online to pick the team is so off the mark you’d have to live on mars to think that’s what me, other football supporters or the Manchester United Supporters Trust would want! To show anyone who doesn’t understand what could happen heres what wouldn’t and would happen.
A takeover of Manchester United by the fans WOULD NEVER see!
- Any online voting system.
- Fans voting on the 11 players that play each game.
- Fans choosing the manager.
- A vote on future signings.
- The fans being able to sack the manager.
A take over of Manchester United by the fans WOULD SEE.
- A board of directors as any other football club.
- The only voting would be for the people who make up the members of the board.
- The members of the board would have the interest of the fans and the club at heart.
- The board of directors would make footballing and club decisions like any other club.
- The board of directors would be forced to follow certain rules after a takeover. Examples – The club cannot be put up for sale. Debt cannot be put on the club. The stadium and training grounds cannot be sold. Tickets prices are to be recommend under deals between the club and IMUSA. IMUSA, MUST and other fan groups are to have official links to the club, these cannot be broken (as Glazer did back in 2005).
- The board would give the manager a set transfer budget. Example – Any mega expensive signings would as with ANY club be considered by both parties. David Gill, the Glazers and the Manchester Board still have to consider everyone who the manager signs. Finances are important.
- The board can be asked to starting to consider other issues such as safe standing, away ticket allocations, final allocations, sponsorship ticket levels, ticket prices and future expansion of the stadium through fan groups such as IMUSA and MUST.
The fans want what is in the interests of Manchester United Football Club but the club also has the interests of the fans. Its a two way street and currently its mostly a one way street. Most fans would agree many areas of ticketing for games away from Old Trafford are poor. This is one area the club can its self campaign but currently does naff all. From the facts above its clear the Spanish, German and FC United routes of football ownership are the correct ways to go BUT every club and its fans, have different issues they want to address. Certain people thinking we as fans plan to vote on the team or have a voting system in place to sack the manager need a reality check. We want the manager to have freedom, the team to have support, the club to be free of debt, the club to be stable and have the fans interests in its mind.
One thing every Manchester United fan will know is the Glazers don’t do publicity. That is until now. The problems this time aren’t coming from Manchester, this time its from on the other side of the pond in Tampa Bay. In the States they are more public than here but when I say more public, this is the first time this season (its ended already) the Glazers have spoken to the press and the fans publicly. There is the odd comment from behind closed doors or at private NFL events but hardly any direct speeches or interviews to the press or the fans. Bryan Glazer said… Many teams ”are happy we’re not in the playoffs because we could have done some damage,” but Bryan your not in the playoffs, you didn’t get any games on tv and you didn’t sell out once. On top of that your fans think your running the team and many of them are worried about it being sold to Eddie Debartalo. Many other NFL fans want the Glazers to sell up.
Bryan Glazer is treating the Bucs much like Chelsea or Manchester City. Over hyping what is slowly becoming below average. The Glazers have big enough problems, that they have to hype up the team publicly and for them to go that far it must be bad. With Manchester United they know this is off limits because they’ll get buried into the ground. David Gill is no longer seen by many people as more than a puppet, its hard to take him seriously unless you have the brain of a City fan. Only a fool says ‘wait and see’. This can apply to the Bucs plan of spending fuck all or Uniteds plan of we have £100m in the bank for players, but we’re not touching it via the managers ‘theres no value’ comments. Bryan would be seen like that before he opened his mouth. In America from the comments I’ve seen, Bryan Glazer could very well be their David Gill. A pointless PR spin machine, picked up by most who read the headline before they read the quotes.
In this blog am going to cover a Qatar takeover and United in general. First up is the team and squad its self. I commented before Villa how United might be running into abit of form. Now against Villa it was lacking but since then apart from that battering against West Ham United, we have been unbeatable. There are kinks in the armour, so we shouldn’t forget that. Talksport were having a Thursday night discussion about Fergies comments on the future of our best goal keeper for along time. Edwin Van Der Sar. We’d all love for a young keeper from within the club to come in and take the number one shirt. That sadly isn’t going to happen. In such an important position we need to pick a keeper who has been solid for another side for a good number of seasons. He needs to be 6 foot plus, calm and have experience. Ferguson has to go shopping and hopefully he will do.
In the League United have done very well 20 games played 44 points. It was only the weather holding us back, or Chelsea’s lack of form. The Chelsea game was something that annoyed many fans as other games went ahead. Despite all the snow/ice we had in Manchester, City of all teams had no problems getting their games on. I’d call it a conspiracy, playing bad, lots of games one after the other, lets use the weather. You could say the same about one or two other games that weekend. With two games in hand on City and a game on Arsenal we could have been on 50 points and 8 points clear of City and 15 clear of Chelsea only at the midseason point. Theres no reason to say we wouldn’t have beaten both Blackpool and Chelsea to achieve that.
With a win over Liverpool in the cup, United are in a prime position. Arsenal and City both have midweek games in the FA Cup 3rd round which means when we come to play Spurs on Sunday, in-terms of that weekend it could be an advantage. We only play Southampton in the cup, so I won’t mind see those two games go against them. An Everton win and we could see a clean sweep of early PL exits before the end of the 4th round.
Manchester City are again splashing out and this leads to the Qatar. I come up with a quiet simple way that for starters I’d be happy for them or anyone else to take over. The Club has a problem of the Glazers. They put, take, lie and generally act like retards. If they cared about the club, they’d talk to the fans instead of treating us like idiots. We pay for tickets and are therefore as they say ‘we are the customers.’ First rule of customer service. The customer is always right no matter how daft it sounds. They don’t treat it like that. Even after protests and even the government telling them theres a problem. Still nothing. So what’s this I’d be happy for someone else to take over? Firstly its not just letting someone take over the club. For me to be happy a number of things have to happen. I don’t want the new ‘owners’ to carry everything out. They should leave the footballing side to the footballing people as they have done with Fergie. I’d accept new owners and a takeover, if it was done in conjunction with the fans. The biggest problem we have is lack of communication between us and the owners. The only thing the pointless ‘fans forum’ created was a note from Fergie asking not to call Wenger names. We have bigger problems than that. A deal done in conjunction with the fans would look like this. It doesn’t matter if its the red knights or Qatar. The new owners take over the club, get rid of the debt, allow certain fan groups back into the club. This can straight away allow IMUSA’s work and past deals on tickets to be put back in place. Possibly put in a process to insert not just one but a number of fans forward as directors on the board. One thing which could be very important is a deal for the fans to buy part of the club from the new owners. One it fully seals the fans into the club and two if Qatar ever want to pull out, we as fans have a say who comes in. We could even buy the club if after 20-30 years it came to selling. All of these are important issues to me and all can be put in place during a takeover. It benefits the fans and the new owners. MUST have said a similar sort of thing. Any new owner would be daft not to listen.
You can follow me on twitter @wewantglazerout
Today the Glazers will report they’ve paid off the £220m PIK personal debt, people will say ‘good news’ on twitter, facebook and the press will report the same thing but they should be asking something very different. Where has that money come from?
In 2010 The Manchester United Supporters Trust released the One Love football shirt, they sold 5,000 and raised £25,000 pounds for the British Heart Foundation. My Shirt Number is 849. You’ll have heard of this and maybe seen the New Green And Gold Shirt but this time £5 goes to Prostate Cancer Charity. Its sponsored by Sharp and looks the part. In my view, 10 times better than the One Love Shirt. I’ve ordered mine today £19.99 + 3.99 postage. If you have an AON shirt, it was £40 with nothing going to charity, this is a shirt fighting against Glazer and Cancer. Killing two birds with one stone. This is a warning, last time within afew weeks most sizes were totally sold out and I don’t know how many they are making this time. As fans we should aim to raise another £25,000 and make it £50,000 Total to Charity by the end of 2010. A link to the shirt is below along with a facebook link to the shirt. If you’ve already ordered it or plan to, leave please a comment or twitter me. @wewantglazerout
So far this week I’ve nearly seen it all, apart from Glazer leaving. Abit of FC United, Manchester United, Liverpools new American owners(where I think they are going) and one or two other pieces. I think I’ll start with last nights Rochdale Vs FC United Game for starters. I think all United fans will relate to this in some way or another. Am not saying your a fan(I am not myself, MUFC for me), but alot I’ve spoken too find it very interesting. Even the die hard reds. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or live on the other side of the world, which is possible if you’ve come from twitter. FC United have made it into the second round of the FA Cup, which to me is unbelievable. They won 3-2 with a injury time goal.
Here is a quote from me…. “I know its asking for alot and most FC United fans will say it won’t happen for many years, if ever but at this moment in time there is that tiny chance. Maths says a 1st round win, then a 2nd round win into a draw with Premier League sides.” …. lets change that to, 2nd round win into a draw with Premier League sides. I’ll leave it at that.
From my last review of Manchester United I’d say its been a slow start but we’re not losing which is always important. I might be the first to say this but could United be running into a small bit of form. Since the shocking second half against West Brom, United have won 5 on the bounce. Won 3 cup games and 2 League games. The game in Turkey the other night was the most impressive so far. I only say the start of form because they need to prove in the league they can do well in the next few games. These include Wolves tomorrow, which from fans I’ve spoken to no expect less than 3 goals from the strike force. The big one is City away. With City losing 3 on the bounce, am hoping we can get a good win today, then go and put a proper show of football on midweek.
One other interesting thing which is floating around is over in Anfield. You’ll likely want to hear something else but considering that another group of Americans have took over an English club. Its relevant when looking at owners as a whole. This time the Americans seem to be increasingly open talk to the press. I get the feeling they don’t really know what they are doing and in areas they’ve admitted that. This gives me a real insight into the people in the game. They’ve just got a new manager and now new owners. Dan Roan from the BBC asked them alot of questions yesterday. The ones that stood out to me were the 39th game question and language used. The term ‘EPL’ like ‘NFL’ was used alot. Later on there were other questions asked around the club its self. All I heard was ‘we want to increase revenues’. Where have we heard that before! The Glazers? Tom Hicks? Anyone. It basically means putting ticket prices up and selling more shirts. On the new stadium, I believe there is a strong possibility of a future ground share. Liverpool fans don’t want it? Tough. You wanted more American owners. You got em and if the Everton Kirby stadium was only going to cost around £78m for a 50k stadium as part of a larger £240m development, the new Americans will bite Evertons hands off. If they can half the cost with Everton, instead of spending a risky £300m development, they can spend possibly less than 1/3 of that and get the extra 10,000-30,000 seats they wanted to milk more cows. These Americans aren’t stupid and will milk them, like they are milking United. Theres one other thing, if your a Liverpool fan reading this (I don’t know why you would be reading this) at home feeling all happy about no more debt. First thing I’d be doing is digging to find out just where that money came from to buy the club. All of that will come clear over the next year or so, apart from the ticket prices. Yep, they’ll be going up.
One week ago we had the ‘United Against Glazer’ protest, an important article involving Jeremy Hunt midweek but I’ve also had one or two other interesting things come up. I won’t make them public just yet but they’ll come out during the week, so keep an eye out. Might not be big or that exciting but there interesting nonetheless. The protest and the Jeremy Hunt comments are very important and hopefully you’ve read the past blog posts, if not just go down the page. As ever my comments repeating the pressuring of your local MP, The Government, Number 10, The Sports Minster, The FA and PL all still stand strong. Go for it.
For any questions or comments you can follow me on Twitter @wewantglazerout