The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has said that both fans and the government must be careful to not get owners similar to the Glazer family.
This pronouncement comes days after the United owners issued a statement saying they were looking for strategic investment options which include a full or partial sale of the club.
While this news arrived at the ears of most United fans to great jubilation, there is now a cloud of uncertainty as to what the future holds for the 20-time English champions.
Unless the government applies a vigorous and thorough audit similar to the one employed when Chelsea was taken over, the Red Devils face the real threat of another Glazer-like owner.
These sentiments were echoed by Duncan Drasdo, the chief executive of MUST, who admitted that the uniqueness of the Chelsea audit by the government should be replicated in United’s change of hands.
The government’s role is significant especially considering the lack of an independent football regulator to handle such matters.
Drasdo said, “Of course, it [the prospect of another Glazer] is a concern. “We’re not going to have a regulator to scrutinise any potential sale.”
“What we really need is for bidders for football clubs to be subject to a scrutiny process that determines their intentions and puts forward binding commitments about how they’re going to operate. Shouldn’t the change of ownership of all of our football clubs receive the same degree of scrutiny and safeguarding?”
Drasdo added, “The idea of some sort of football takeover panel is what we need right now for Manchester United and Liverpool. It’s no good trying to address the matter once the horse has bolted.”
Drasdo warned against the likelihood of the Raine group, hired by the Glazers, hawking the club around and looking for the highest bidder without necessarily taking into account their intentions and plans for the future.
He urged that any potential sale must be guided by fan participation and not be rooted in profit-making and taking money out of the club.
The MUST chief executive finished off by pleading with the government to endeavour to help United fans regulate the incoming change of ownership.