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Suggested Action Plan

The BSkyB deal has now been referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC), a battle won, but the war is not yet over.

There are five people, from a range of backgrounds, appointed to the committee looking at the BSkyB / Manchester United deal. They will be asking interested parties for submissions but their remit is much wider than that of the OFT and their processes much more open. As with any official body, they will not be able to ignore the weight of public opinion. You can find out more about the inquiry committee and their terms of reference here.

This deal will change football as we know it. Below is a list of things you can do to help stop it:

  1. There is now a new EDM proposed by Terry Lewis MP asking for the MMC to reject the BSkyB bid. Even if your MP signed the old one (asking for a referral to the MMC) check if they are supporting this Early Day Motion (EDM266). They may need a little encouragement to make the effort to sign. Make sure they get it. Remember that ministers are not allowed to sign EDMs but can still be asked for support

  2. There is still a lot of work to be done, from research of Murdoch's businesses and MMC case histories to telephoning and leaflet distribution. If you can offer practical assistance and you live in the Manchester area come to committee meetings to find out how you can help (members only but you can join on the night). If you don't live in the area phone 0161 839 9941 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you within a few days

  3. Write to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission at the address given here. If you wrote to the OFT your letter will be passed on to the MMC automatically so don't just reproduce the same letter. Although the deadline is 20th November your letters will be accepted after this date, possibly until as late as January, but please don't leave it this late. The list of points we offered to help you write to the OFT are still valid and you can read them here

  4. Get relatives and friends to write to the MMC. If your parents or grandparents can't afford to go to matches anymore and can't afford Sky TV encourage them to write to the MMC and tell them so

  5. We need to encourage other bodies who may be wavering to put submissions into the MMC. They are more likely to do that if they are inundated with letters from concerned football fans. Write to these bodies and tell them that you are concerned and get your friends and relatives to do the same.

    These bodies include:

    • Football authorities including FA, FIFA and UEFA
    • Other football clubs, not just Premier League, encourage non-MUFC fans to write to their club
    • Fans groups from around the UK, again enlist the help of your non-MUFC friends
    • Local councillors and local authorities
    • Trade Unions and the TUC
    • Broadcasting companies and broadcasting regulators
    • Other government departments that have an interest

  6. Join IMUSA here - You can still take part in the campaign if you don't want to join IMUSA but we need to form a cohesive group in order to organise an effective campaign

  7. If you have Sky - ring them and tell them you'll cancel if the deal goes through. In fact, if you buy The Sun or The Times or subscribe to Sky (that includes Sky channels on cable), you are helping to support Rupert Murdoch! Just think about it and remember that the Sun still has very poor circulation figures on Merseyside

  8. Visit our library and read some of the material about Rupert Murdoch and the takeover

  9. If you read an article in the paper you think is unfair, tell them so, don't expect someone else to do it. Here is a list of addresses and email/fax numbers to help you

  10. Explain to all your football contacts/friends why this deal will be bad for Manchester United and for football and get them to write to the MMC

  11. Get active on the Internet - put your point over in relevant Newsgroups/Chat

  12. Use football phone ins to get the arguments over to a wider public. Be tactful, we want to convert people not irritate them

  13. Buy shares in United. Even if the MMC allow this deal to go through, if 11% of shareholders refuse to sell then Manchester United will remain independent

  14. If you can't donate many hours to the campaign you might consider donating a few hours pay (or whatever you can afford) to the fighting fund - many have already but a lot of the IMUSA campaign work is expensive and needs funding to be effective. We are all volunteers!