Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Man Utd supporters group demands stake for fans after every sale

The Manchester United Supporters Trust has called for supporter involvement in a new ownership structure at Old Trafford after the Glazers put the Premier League club up for sale.

The Glazers, who bought United for £790million in a controversial leveraged buyout in 2005, announced on Tuesday night that they are “assessing strategic alternatives” which include a potential sale.

MUST welcomed the news that the unpopular American owners could be on their way out after 17 years of control at Old Trafford, but added a warning on who might replace them.

“While proponents have long been calling for change, of course this has to be the right change,” it said in a statement. “At this point our club needs new investment more than ever. That requires new owners.

“Any prospective new owner or investor must be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club.

“They have to be willing to invest to bring United back to their former glory and that investment has to be real new money to be spent on the players and the stadium.

“Finally, any new ownership structure needs to embed supporters into their operating model, including some percentage of fan ownership.

“Manchester United fans are its greatest asset and key to unlocking the true value of any football club. This relationship must be one of equals – shared responsibility and united with the same goals.”

After years of squandering sales calls, the Glazers appear ready to cede control.

United said the board is embarking on a process “aimed at nurturing the club’s future growth” to maximize opportunities on and off the pitch.

A statement from the club said: “As part of this process, the board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investments in the club, a sale or any other transaction involving the company.

“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including the refurbishment of stadiums and infrastructure and the expansion of the club’s commercial activities on a global scale, all linked to increasing the long-term success of the men’s, women’s and football teams Clubs Academy teams and benefits for fans and other stakeholders.”

Should the Glazers decide against a sale, they could still look for an investment partner to raise capital to fund a much-needed redevelopment of Old Trafford.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure we serve our fans best and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the club now and in the future,” said Executive Vice-Presidents and Directors Avram and Joel Glazer.

“Throughout this process, we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders and various stakeholders.”

Arch-rivals Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group – also based in the United States – are currently exploring similar options for the full or part sale of a club bought for £300million in 2010.

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