he Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have outlined a four-point plan for change that they want the Glazer family to implement immediately after Sunday’s protests at Old Trafford which forced the postponement of the Premier League clash with Liverpool.
In an open letter addressed to United co-chairman Joel Glazer titled “The morning after the night before, and a way forward for all of us”, MUST stated that “no one wants what happened at Old Trafford yesterday to be a regular event” and that “what happened was the culmination of sixteen years in which your family’s ownership of the club has driven us into debt and decline.”
MUST said fans have “felt ever more sidelined and ignored”, bemoaning that no member of the Glazer family had spoken to them since the takeover in May 2005 and admitting that frustrations had “reached boiling point” on Sunday.
“For the vast majority of the thousands of attendees at the protest they made their voice heard peacefully and respectfully,” MUST said. “We support the right of fans to protest lawfully and, although we did not personally witness any such acts, of course we do not condone any acts of violence”.
MUST went on to present a four-point plan that they say is the only way forward for the club out of the current situation as they look to avoid more protests in the future.
First on the list was for United’s ownership to engage and promote the upcoming fan-led review of football governance announced by the Government and use it as an “opportunity to rebalance the current ownership structure in the favour of supporters”, while the second point seeks the immediate appointment of “independent directors to the board whose sole purpose is to protect the interest of the club as a football club”.
MUST also want the Glazers to work with them and other fans to put in place a share scheme that is “accessible to all and that has shares with the same voting rights as those held by the Glazer family”.
They added: “Should the appetite be there amongst fans then you should welcome, and offer no opposition to, the Glazer Family shareholding being reduced to a minority or indeed being bought out altogether.”
The fourth and final point called for consultation with season-ticket holders on any significant changes to the future of Manchester United, “including the competitions we play in” – an obvious reference to United’s role in the recent European Super League fiasco.
MUST asked for a response to their open letter in public and in writing by Friday and finished by saying: “This is the only way to move this issue on. We strongly suggest you take it.”