Behind the windows of Manchester there is an insane love of football, of celebration
Statement concerning possible bids to buy the club
1st February 2010
Statement from the Independent Manchester United Supporters’ Association (IMUSA) concerning possible bids to buy the club: 1st February 2010
The Independent Manchester United Supporters’ Association (IMUSA) was founded in 1995 and came about because of the tensions between the fans' natural enthusiasm for supporting their team and the clubs' increasingly commercial approach that required us to sit down, shut up and passively hand over ever larger amounts of money. IMUSA is now one of the oldest independent fans’ organisation in the country and has been consistent in its vocal opposition to the Glazers’ model of ownership. IMUSA was removed from the Manchester United Fans’ Forum in 2005 for holding these views.
Support for potential bidders or consortium of bidders
The purpose of this release is to make it clear that IMUSA welcomes the discussions about the possibility of ownership change at Manchester United and expresses its sincere hopes that such a bid can be successfully mounted.
We also wish to make it clear however, that we would only welcome this change of ownership if it resulted in the best interests of Manchester United Football Club and the United family being put first and foremost.
That is, any other owner trying to impose a model based on self interest and greed, would be just as distasteful to us as the Glazers themselves.
IMUSA therefore wishes to offer its full and unequivocal support to any bidder or group of bidders who will undertake to;
(i) Set aside, in perpetuity, at least 25% of the shares in the club (that can neither be sold nor traded) to a Trust, (the trustees of which should include fans representatives and representatives of the local community), so that the likes of the Glazers can never inflict themselves on our club gain.
Note 1: In most clubs in Germany the fans own 51% of the shares. The 25% called for here is derived from the amount needed to prevent a company being delisted on the Stock-Exchange if it is taken over
(ii) Establish a democratically and transparently elected Fans’ Forum and grant it powers to influence decisions about those issues that directly impinge upon the fans.
Note 2: The Glazers have only ever made one statement directly to the fans, via a sycophantic interview on MUTV in 2005 and have never met with IMUSA, preferring instead to simply ignore the written request to do so from the then Minister of Sport, Richard Caborn and the reminder phone-calls from his office that followed
(iii) Agree to the revisiting of the ticket price reconfiguration exercise begun by IMUSA and the club in 2005 (that would have resulted in nearly 70% of ticket prices being reduced whilst keeping match-day income the same) but abandoned following the Glazer takeover.
Note 3: Ticket prices under the Glazers have all but doubled for many ordinary fans and this has resulted in much of our traditional support being priced out. We wish to see this situation addressed as a matter of urgency whilst recognising the need for a certain level of match-day income
Fans’ protests against the Glazers’ ownership
The Glazers have thus far shown little understanding of the harm they have inflicted on Manchester United supporters. They have tried hard to spin the strength of feeling against them and have shown contempt for the protests that have taken place so far. David Gill (CEO of Manchester United) described these protests only yesterday as being “ridiculous”.
The Glazers are set to take upwards of £400 million out of the club for themselves
The only way fans can prevent this happening is to starve them of cash, so that what money there is, has to be spent on Manchester United, not funding the lifestyles of its unwelcome owners.
• That cash flow is reduced if fans do not buy anything within the ground
• That cash flow is reduced if fans pledge not to renew their season tickets if the Glazers are still in control come season ticket renewal time.
Fans are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if they are considering not renewing, so that we can keep a count on numbers.
A website is in the process of being set up to do this also.
In the meantime, all fans are encouraged to wear the Green and Gold of the protest movement to show the Glazers and the world that the Manchester United family rejects the Glazers’ and their type of greed driven ownership model.