Manchester United fans’ four demands to the Glazers after Liverpool match postponed
Boris Johnson comments on Man Utd fan protest at Old Trafford
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But judging by a list of demands made of them by the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust yesterday there might as well be a million miles between their respective positions.
MUST penned an open letter to Joel Glazer setting out their preferred path out of this increasingly toxic situation.
It began respectfully enough with a “Dear Joel” but what followed was a wish list that has next to no chance of coming to pass.
After a thinly-veiled apology followed by a similarly clad threat that they could not rule out further action MUST submitted their four-point plan that they hope will plot a way out of a position of mutual contempt.
MUST want the club to ‘willingly and openly’ engage in the government-backed fan-led review of football with a view to rebalancing the current ownership structure in favour of supporters.
They requested the club immediately appoint independent directors to act as a check on the board and the Glazers themselves.
They want a share scheme accessible to all and no opposition from the current owners should their shareholding be reduced to a minority holding or even nothing.
And finally, they demanded a commitment to full consultation with season ticket holders on any significant changes to the future of “our” club, including the competitions United play in.
If it is a wish list on the ambitious side the feeling is that if they ask for the moon they may just get a little bit of what they want.
Other fans groups admit that they would be happy with “some sort of say”, that their interests are better represented on the board, a presence there written into the constitution.
At present fans are consulted through the fans forum with nine supporters invited to talk to the club. Ed Woodward conducted one last week in the aftermath of the failed attempt to join the European Super League.
MUST, who have stressed that they did not organise Sunday’s protest, ended their letter with a demand that they require a written response to their four-point plan, in public, by Friday.
The chances are that the response if it forthcoming will not quite be what they are looking for.
The Glazers are sitting on an asset that was valued at £3.05billion just last month and has every right to hold on to it if they so wish.
Manchester is an affluent place but the thought of the fans being able to match that sort of price tag seems fanciful in the extreme.
Representation in some form with a say in which future competitions United play in – point four of the plan – seems reasonable and achievable and could serve as a route out of the impasse.
United suggested MUST refer to the open letter from Joel Glazer last week apologising for the upset caused over the ESL plans – an apology which was not accepted.
Clearly, more will be required if the fans are to feel they are being listened to.
It’s over to Florida.
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