Following the tumultuous season of last, this season's campaign was always going to be one more of consolidation than action. Though that is not to say that there hasn't been plenty to keep the committee occupied. Being a supporter of ManU. the football team is not hard, but being a supporter of the most newsworthy football club can be damned hard. Everything that happens concerning the club is reported on TV and Radio, and written about in Newspapers, Magazines etc. Every decision or action is scrutinised and dissected, and more often than not as the supporters of that club we suffer from the subsequent fall-out. Representatives of IMUSA are always being sounded out by the media for comment and two of the main men who have always made themselves available for this task have been Chair - Andy Walsh and Press Officer - Lee Hodgkiss. Both these men have chosen to stand down from their positions of office though will remain on the committee, also standing down as Vice- Chair is Mike Adams (also staying on committee). All three of these men have been extremely vital to the cause of IMUSA over the last few years and have worked extremely hard both in public and behind the scenes. Whilst we cannot thank them enough for all the work they have undertaken, we must appreciate the fact that they want to stay and work with the committee to ensure continuity.
Mike Shepherd (Membership Secretary) has unfortunately chosen to resign both from his role and from the committee. Mike accepted the demanding role of organising the membership affairs and formed a successful sub-committee. Though his work demands prevent him from continuing in his role, it is hoped that he will continue to have some input into the organisation. Others standing down completely are both Sarah Hatton and Gillian Howarth. We thank them all for the invaluable contributions they have made.
That was the year that was
Various issues have been addressed over the last year - some have made news others haven't. Correspondence has ebbed and flowed between the club and ourselves concerning a number of subjects.
One of the biggest issues was our failure to defend the FA Cup. Everybody had their own views on whether or not the club was right or wrong.
Through direct correspondence with the club (and grabbing Peter Kenyon at the AGM) we finally managed to have two IMUSA officers sit around a table with Messrs Kenyon and Draper. Ideas and points of view were discussed and swopped. Whether this will lead to anything remains to be seen.
The club suddenly seem keen to have a singing section, but they have allocated Tier 2 in the new West stand development for this. Two 'open days' in the East stand ensued with lots of 'suits' on display and open for conversation.
This year saw a return to 'guest' evenings with three popular guests. Fergie and Gary Neville were popular for obvious reasons but full marks must be expressed to Tony Banks MP who entered the lions den and was entertaining. (AW even managed to rummage about with his (Tony Banks) boxer shorts!).
A book reviewing the campaign against Murdoch was published with a contribution going to IMUSA funds.
A lot of work went into a 'members survey' and there was a good response to this. Members were questioned on the issues IMUSA have focused on over the years. In March this year representatives of INWSA and COFS went to London to lobby MP's.
Last July saw the first major football conference held - this was put together by Jonathon Michie with help from IMUSA.
We have continued to forward informative and constructive European Away reports to concerned representative bodies - though you wonder whether anybody reads and takes notice of them.
To strengthen our ties with other football organisations Monica Brady has been elected to the FSA National committee.
We must keep on fighting and keep pressing on certain issues - rising prices, adoption of some deferred system, the club's attitude to debiting the money from peoples accounts so quickly, ground configuration, the club accepting input from supporters, and the treatment of ManU fans by other clubs (M/boro reducing ticket allocation). Though communication is quick, easy and cheap via e-mail sometimes it is nice to talk one to one, and not everybody has access to this facility.
Many, many people help to keep the organisation at this level - the officers, committee and members, Nick Clay and his newsletter team, the membership team, the website gang (who have done a tremendous job), the fanzine editors who allow us a platform in their publications, the guests at our meetings, Terry and his staff at O'Brien's, Duncan and Shareholders United for the pre-match meetings at Samuel Platts, Adam Brown (task force and Panorama) and various people who work hard behind the scenes and never get a mention and to anybody I have failed to mentions or refer to - to all these we express our grateful thanks.
Without your dedication and commitment IMUSA would not be where it is today. Good Luck to the new committee for season 2000/01.
I have been part of IMUSA since its conception, I have served on the committee and also as an officer, I have made many new friends and acquaintances but unfortunately at this moment in time I do not feel that I have any more to offer. I have enjoyed my years with IMUSA and would like to express my thanks and best wishes for the future to everybody associated with the organisation.