Home ยป Manchester United Supporters Trust issues twelve-point ultimatum to potential bidders

Manchester United Supporters Trust issues twelve-point ultimatum to potential bidders

by Derick Kinoti

The Manchester United Supporters Trust has issued a list of ultimatums to potential bidders looking to buy Manchester United.

With the Glazer family’s announcement that the club may be up for a full or partial sale, there has been a lot of speculation regarding who will take over the reins at Old Trafford.

Some of the mentioned parties include Sir Jim Ratcliffe, state sovereign funds and a host of American technology companies.

To avoid the risk of another Glazer-like owner, the fan group, MUST, has penned an open letter to those in the running to acquire United in which they outlined their wishes.

MUST issued a number of demands in their 12-point ultimatum.

Most of these contentious topics revolve around what supporters have been clamouring for since the Glazer family took over in 2005.

The open letter reads, “We believe Manchester United is the greatest sporting institution in the world and hope we will have a new owner that will nurture, invest and, most of all, recognise that their role as the steward of Manchester United is to run the club in partnership with the supporters in a way which recognises that a football club is far more than just a commercial asset.”

“As you contemplate the nature of any offer you may wish to make to the present owners, we believe it may be helpful to you to understand what supporters want from any new owner, in order to secure the support of the fans.”

MUST adds, “The principles below are based on our longstanding principles established over two decades as the Supporters Trust and regular open consultation with our fans.”

Some of the principles included in the statement include debt, equity, investment, returns, fan ownership, owner accountability and a commitment to non-involvement in the Super League.

The United fan group wants any future owner to commit to replacing any existing debt and not purchase the club on leveraged terms as the Glazers did. The new owner should also fund future capital expenditure by way of issuing new shares.

Reinvestment, as per MUST, is paramount. Significant funds should be pumped into modernizing club infrastructure and in improving United teams across the board – men, women and youth teams.

Fans should also be allowed shared ownership and be allowed prominent representation on the board.

A key ultimatum in the statement is the restoration of the words “Football Club” to the club badge.

Finally, MUST demands the maintenance of match ticket affordability while ensuring the growth and development of other parallel revenue streams. Any proposal to change the format of club competitions the team participates in should involve seeking the definite and widespread approval of fans.

It will be interesting to see how potential bidders react to this statement and whether they take into account its contents.

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