The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) have begun a series of consultations with members and fans over proposals for the formation of a new fan share scheme.
This is just the latest step in what MUST consider will give supporters a significant stake in the ownership of the club, giving fans greater control in deciding the affairs of United.
MUST have been locked in discussions with the club for more than a year, following a commitment made by Joel Glazer in which he promised that a fan share scheme would be created, in response to the club’s role in the botched European Super League.
Initial reaction to the proposals in place is said to be overwhelmingly positive. According to the Daily Mail, these proposals were accepted by almost 99% of voters who were subjected to an exit poll following a series of MUST member meetings.
In the new scheme, shares would carry the same voting weight as those held by the Glazer family.
The biggest point to take home is that unlike in the past and present where proceeds have gone into the Glazers’ pockets, proceeds from share sales would be reinvested into the club entirely.
Neither the shareholders nor indeed the Glazer family would profit from the scheme if the proposals by MUST come to pass.
MUST’s proposals are in line with their vision of creating the biggest fan shareholder movement in world football. United had an initial version of such a scheme which was wiped out by the infamous Glazer takeover of the club in 2005.
If these proposals come into effect, it would be an immense first step towards realizing such a vision.
There is a need to however exercise caution as there is no guarantee that MUST’s proposals would significantly diminish the stranglehold the Glazer family has on United.
Chris Wheeler reports, “Although MUST accepts the scheme will not change the Glazers’ majority holding, it believes this is a significant move towards a better ownership model.”
If the scheme is approved by both MUST members after its round of consultation and the United board, there is an expectation that the details of the share offers will then be published, as is required by financial regulations.
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