The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) has written an open letter to owner Joel Glazer, urging the club’s hierarchy to work with them to find an amicable solution to the current chaos.
Thousands of United fans stormed Old Trafford on Sunday in the build-up to a game with Liverpool to protest against the Glazers. Frustrations over their involvement in the breakaway Super League plans were clear, but the distaste towards the owners dates back to their arrival at the club back in 2005.
Calls for the Glazers to sell up and leave have so far fallen on deaf ears, and with further protests planned, MUST wrote to the American businessmen to try and come up with a mutually beneficial solution to restore some form of normality.
“First things first, let’s be very clear that no-one wants what happened at Old Trafford [on Sunday] to be a regular event,” the letter read.
“We are football fans and we want to support our team. We don’t want to spend our days off work protesting outside our football ground. But what happened was the culmination of sixteen years in which your family’s ownership of the club has driven us into debt and decline, and we have felt ever more sidelined and ignored.
“After sixteen years not one member of the Glazer family has ever had so much as a conversation with us, the club’s Supporters Trust. That frustration reached boiling point. For the vast majority of the thousands of attendees at the protest they made their voice heard peacefully and respectfully. 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.
“None of us want this to continue. We all have better things to do. So we need to find a way forward, and we have a four point plan for you to do that:
“1. Willingly and openly engage and promote the government initiated fan-led review of football and use this as an opportunity to rebalance the current ownership structure in the favour of supporters
“2. Immediately appoint independent directors to the board whose sole purpose is to protect the interest of the club as a football club, not its shareholders
“3. Work with the Manchester United Supporters Trust and supporters more broadly 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. 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.
“4. Commit to full consultation with season ticket holders on any significant changes to the future of our club, including the competitions we play in
“We request a response to this four-point plan, in public and in writing, by Friday. This is the only way to move this issue on. We strongly suggest you take it.”