Independent Manchester United Supporters Association

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IMUSA News Stories:

Thursday, January 29, 2020

Request for Volunteers - Windy @ 11:47 PST
With all the current hoo-haa going on, we need to make the United faithful aware of the precarious situation the club finds itself in and urge them to help in any way possible.

IMUSA is planning a leaflet-drop at Old Trafford before the game this Saturday (Southampton). If anyone is interested in helping give the leaflets out, please e-mail [email protected]

Thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2020

MONTHLY MEETING CHANGES - Windy @ 08:38 PST
8PM Thursday 11th December: The monthly meeting will return to O'Briens next
to the Stretford Arndale for one month only and will take the form of a Xmas
Social and Quiz with Guest quizmaster/speaker. Numerous prizes on offer so
get yourselves down there. Non-members can join on the night.

Tuesday 13th January: Guest meeting - Sir Alex Ferguson. Again at O'Briens
in Stretford. Doors open from 6.30 with a 7.30 start. Get there on time to
avoid missing anything. All members welcome and again, non-members can join
on the night. A strict membership check will take place on the door, so
please bring your cards for speedy access.

8PM Thursday 15th January - Normal service resumes for the monthly
members/committee meeting back at the Seven Oaks, 5 Nicholas Street,
Manchester, M1 4HL. Tel: 0161 237 1233

Friday, September 12, 2020

Going to Charlton? - Windy @ 12:24 PST
IMUSA has got something for you to read.

IMUSA and Charlton Athletic Supporters Club will be handing out a joint
statement outside The Valley tommorrow. It was agreed at last nights IMUSA
members meeting that it was only right that United fans were informed of who
is to blame (and who is not) for the last few weeks events regarding our
allocation, price of tickets and future allocations.

It has never been, and NEVER WILL BE, IMUSA's role or desire to tell United
fans how to behave but we felt it important to keep United fans aware of
developments and to note we are (unfairly or not), being watched.

So please keep an eye out for the leaflet and take a minute to read it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2020

Kenyon/Gill - Windy @ 10:05 PST
Members may be concerned with the lack of noise being made by IMUSA regarding the Kenyon/Gill issue but please be aware that the matter is being taken very seriously. It would be very easy to slaughter Mr Gill before the ink his dry on his new contract and comments like "turning fans into customers" doesn't exactly endear us to him, but we feel a more reasoned and tactful approach is required. Tomorrow night (Thursday 11th) is the first committee meeting of the new season and the first in the new venue (Seven Oaks Pub, 5 Nicholas Street, M/cr www.imusa.org/meetings for further directions). We will be using this as an opportunity to canvass the opinion of our members, which we shall make public on Friday.

In the meantime, we are attempting to broker a deal with the new CEO as soon as possible to seek assurances from him that the positive inroads we have made will be honoured and that the club continues to view its most loyal “customers” with the respect and sense of priority we deserve.

Please feel free to come to the committee meeting and add your two-penneth.

Regards

Adrian Miller (Windy)
IMUSA vice chair/comms

e-mail: [email protected]

Friday, September 05, 2020

A club in distress - Windy @ 09:16 PST
No, not United, Notts County. The oldest club in the history of the game has 5 days of existence left unless something is done about it. This from a County fan:

Dear IMUSA members,

Notts County is heading towards extinction on Monday. There is a very real chance that the match at Meadow Lane against Luton Town this Saturday could be the last ever game for the world’s oldest League club.

We have all seen the news about how financial backers of the group put together by former Chairman Derek Pavis have withdrawn their support, leaving the future of the world’s oldest League club in serious doubt.

We are appealing to supporters everywhere to help secure the future of Notts County Football Club. We need everyone to give if they can. However small or
large a donation – whether it is a £1, £100 or £1000 or more, together we can make a difference.

The Trust believes that with the goodwill of supporters everywhere we can raise between £250,000-500,000 by Monday - the deadline set by the Football
League

If IMUSA wish to help not only Notts survival then they can get donation details on http://www.nottscotrust.org.uk.

Thanks for reading this and if anyone can help, please do so as it is appreciated.

Thanks

Jamie Barry

If you can help, please do. Thanks.

Monday, September 01, 2020

Credit where due - Windy @ 15:54 PST
IMUSA recognises the gesture by Manchester United of not passing the
increase in Charlton ticket prices onto Manchester United Supporters.
We also welcome the consultative approach by Manchester United in discussing
this with IMUSA once it was clear that Charlton were looking to increase the
reduced allocation for the visit of Manchester united to the Valley on
September 13th.

IMUSA hope that this sets a precedent for future situations and is a genuine
sign that the club realise the value of the match-going supporter and
therefore continue to protect our members against the profiteering of other
clubs when Manchester United visit them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2020

Charlton continue a bad theme. - Windy @ 11:48 PST
IMUSA are disappointed with Charlton Athletics decision to reduce the
allocation for Utd supporters for the visit to The Valley on September
13th.The major reason for this decision given was that supporters of
Manchester United were guilty of persistent standing last season. Whilst
IMUSA recognise the current constraints applied to supporters in the top two
leagues in English Football, we see this as further justification for a full
study to be completed by an independent body into the removal of legislation
preventing the introduction of areas of safe standing at football grounds in
England (and as promised by Tony Blair as part of his election manifesto).

IMUSA recently met with executives of the Football Premier League where we
raised concerns about discrimination towards supporters of Manchester United
regarding reduced allocations. The PL provided IMUSA with assurances that
with immediate effect, every clubs fans at every away ground will be
monitored and documented by an independent body so as to avoid the
discrimination which IMUSA have documented. We now look to the Premier
League not only to fulfil their assurances to IMUSA regarding
discrimination, but also to ensure that Charlton do not sell to their own
supporters those they will have otherwise sold to supporters of Manchester
United.

Friday, August 01, 2020

IMUSA meets the Premier League - Windy @ 09:21 PST
On Monday the 28th of July 2003, Adrian Miller and Vasco Wackrill (Vice Chair and Secretary of IMUSA, respectively) travelled to the Premier League's (PL) headquarters in London to meet Chief Exec. Richard Scudamore. Also present in the meeting were Philip French, Cathy Long and Kathryn Robinson, employees of the PL.
The meeting was brokered, primarily, to discuss the impact that the impending TV contract, due to commence season 2004/05, would have on the amount of games Manchester United could expect to play at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday. During the past season (2002/03), United played just 11 of 41 league and cup games at the traditional time, a number IMUSA finds totally unacceptable, not only because of the inconvenience it causes to supporters but also because it is the welfare of the match-going supporter that is given the least amount of consideration when a fixture is rearranged at the behest of TV or the police.
Initially, the structure of the impending contracts were discussed and it transpired that there are 3 (possibly 4) broadcasting contracts up for grabs. These equate to a "pecking order" whereby the owner of contract #1 have first pick on a given weekends fixtures that will be screened at 4pm on a Sunday. The owner of contract #2 has second pick, the game selected being shown at 5.15pm on a Saturday and so on. The first 2 contracts are for 38 games while the 3rd is for 72. However, in place is a "cap" that dictates that, for each contract, any one team can only be shown a certain number of times (8/38, 8/38 and 9/72). It doesn't take a genius to work out that the owner of each contract is going to require the services of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal the maximum number of times permitted during the course of a season i.e. 25 out of 38.
IMUSA aired our stance that a more equal distribution of TV revenue would, in the long term, see a reversal of the polarisation of the league by making the smaller clubs more financially competitive. But, a lowering of the cap was regarded untenable because, not only do the TV companies want their pound of flesh, they also demand the prime cuts such as United and Arsenal and aren't too keen on the gristle of, say, Man City. Any drop in the quality of the product inevitably means a drop in how much the TV companies are willing to pay for it. It was concluded that, barring a return to the bad old days of the 80's, United can presume to be on TV 25 times per season (plus cup ties). This is the most simplistic but also the most realistic situation we can expect to find ourselves in.

While it may be assumed that the PL are the enemy in all this, to do so would be an unfair assumption. They exist to mediate the full earning potential of their members and recompense them accordingly. However, in their capacity as custodians of the game, they also find themselves frustrated by bureaucracies imposing their influence and power on the sport. The European Commission, a non-elected and seemingly all-powerful authority is constantly applying pressure on the PL to show more live games. To their credit, the PL has so far resisted the drive to lift the ban on broadcasting live games at 3pm on a Saturday. However, they were powerless to resist the EC's demand that the number of live games be increased from 106 to 138 games per season and these new contracts are the result of this.
Also, it was made clear that Police forces up and down the country have the ultimate veto on ANY given fixture. Their decision is not open to debate or appeal.
When all these factors are taken into consideration, it becomes apparent that the body empowered to run and protect our game is being hampered and manipulated by non-footballing authorities. The days of the Football Association being run by a bank manager have been replaced by a football authority being dictated to by a governing body more concerned with the welfare of the armchair fan than their match-going counterparts. This is fundamentally flawed but it would seem that we are stuck with it, for the duration of the new contract at least.
To address the issue of the influence of the Police, the PL agreed that Cathy Long would attend any meeting IMUSA could broker with GMP. This matter is in hand.

The conclusion of this portion of the meeting was that there is very little room for manoeuvre where the impending TV contracts are concerned. The EC demands more games; the PL has to supply them. To get maximum money from the broadcasters, the PL has to supply the attractive components of the package. When the Police have added their tuppence-worth, the match-going fan holds no aces and commands no respect. There is no denying that the situation is grave for us match-going fans and quite rosy indeed for our Sky/NTL-subscribing counterparts. What can be done about it? It would appear not much with respect to the impending contract, so we have 4 years to come up with a contingency plan. It can be assumed by everyone reading this that the matter will not close just because there is no simple solution and every effort will be made to produce a contract that benefits all and not just the powerful few.


Other issues brought up in the meeting included the matter of price-banding and away allocation reductions based on fans standing in seating sections.
Everyone present agreed that the concept of price-banding is fundamentally unfair. Mr Scudamore could not be swayed to use our prompted "profiteering" terminology because there is no legislation on the matter but agreed that it IS unfair that one set of supporters should have to pay more to watch their team, over the course of a season, than another set and promised to look into the situation. We will monitor and report any developments.

On the subject of clubs reducing United's away allocation because of fans standing, examples of other clubs fans standing but not receiving the same punishment was presented. We were pleased to hear that, with immediate effect, every clubs fans at every away ground will be monitored and documented by an independent body. This will ensure that clubs can no longer discriminate against United, confident in the knowledge that they can sell the retracted tickets to their own fans whereas they may not be so confident retracting tickets from, for example, Southampton or Charlton. We will monitor the efficiency and accuracy of the new system with a keen eye.

To summarise, we did not go into the meeting with the PL hoping to "address the enemy". We went, primarily, to obtain assurances that match-going fans would be taken into consideration when fixtures are rearranged. Unfortunately, we failed in our objective because we are all at the mercy of the TV companies and the Police. However, in true IMUSA style, we will not take this lying down and the challenge now is to use every resource at our disposal to produce an alternative, in time for the TV contracts due to come into effect for the season 07/08.

We would like to thank the PL for agreeing to meet IMUSA and for agreeing to attend any meeting we can broker with GMP.

Adrian G Miller
IMUSA Vice Chair

Tuesday, June 24, 2020

IMUSA DISMAYED WTH PREMIER LEAGUE TV CONTRACT TENDER DOCUMENT - Windy @ 13:19 PST
The announcement of a further increase in TV games, up from 106 to 138, for the season beginning 2004/05 is a bitter blow to match-going United fans. Manchester United played at 3pm Saturday only 10 times in the Premier League last season. Across the 3 TV packages broadcasters will now be able to show United live, 25 times. That means before changes for other reasons United will be down to 13, 3pm Saturday KO's.

IMUSA chair, Jules Spencer said:
“IMUSA had a great response to our 3pm campaign last season from all sections of United's support, from teenagers to the disabled. This is a real kick in the teeth for us.”

IMUSA press officer Mark Longden said:
“The Premier League will argue that they had to increase the number of games to satisfy the European Commission competition enquiry, so they could retain the collective deal. How can it be a collective deal when United were on TV 23 times last season and Charlton 5 times, with the associated difference in revenues gained? IMUSA would have settled for 138 live games if they were split evenly between the 20 PL clubs, making 14 live games each, which is more than the 50% 3pm KO's we are asking for”

PL Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has agreed to meet IMUSA. We hope this meeting takes place soon, before any deal is signed and we are stuck with it for 3 years.

Friday, April 11, 2020

Trouble in Madrid - Windy @ 10:27 PST
IMUSA are compiling a thorough account of the unacceptable way in which United fans were treated before and during the recent EC Semi-final at the Bernabeu in Madrid. This information will be presented to UEFA with the account of club officials and an FA safety officer included.

If you attended the match in Madrid and encountered heavy-handed (un-provoked) policing/stewarding, please send your account of events to [email protected] as soon as possible please.

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