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Group urge for the sale of Manchester United

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Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) has called on
the club’s owners, the Glazer family, to sell the Premier League
champions after a report emerged that some of their greatest players
will front a bid to buy the triple European Cup winners.
MUST warned the Glazers that their current financial model is
unsustainable now that Sir Alex Ferguson has retired.
Since the Glazers bought United in 2005, around 700 million pounds
has been spent on interest fees, bank charges and debt repayment.
Ferguson won five Premier League titles and reached three
Champions League finals in his final eight years at Old Trafford, but
under his successor, David Moyes, United are languishing in seventh
place and enduring their poorest season for a quarter of century.
Although Moyes is expected to have a large transfer budget this
summer, MUST said United cannot afford to continue spending
money meeting the Glazers’ financial commitments, caused by the debt
they incurred when buying the club.
And Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of MUST, said: “The
Glazers will sell at some point and that time may be fast approaching
as they realise that the model which worked so well for them under
Sir Alex is not sustainable now.
“If we want to compete with our main rivals domestically and in
Europe we’ll need to match their investment over the long term and
that will squeeze profits and therefore bring the valuation down. They
must be looking at a possible exit so now is the time for the global
fanbase to come together.
“Undoubtedly the majority of fans would like to see a better
ownership model which put the club and fans first rather than the
profits of private owners.”
A story in The Sun suggested that ‘the Class of 92’ — David
Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil
Neville — would become the public face of a consortium backed by
the Qatari royal family that will try to take over United.
United have received no bids and MUST said it is sceptical about
the veracity of the report.
The Glazers own 90 percent of United, with the remaining 10 percent
sold on the New York Stock Exchange after an Initial Public
Offering (IPO) in 2012.
United’s share price rose to 16.90 dollars after report of the possible
takeover was printed, despite the team’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on
Tuesday, and it means they are valued at around 2.7 billion dollars.
MUST has 200,000 members and Drasdo believes some of United’s
past greats have the right idea how to run a club.
Giggs, who is a player-coach, and Phil Neville, who is on Moyes’
coaching staff, are still at Old Trafford. They, Scholes, Beckham,
Butt and Gary Neville have made more than 3,000 appearances for
United, winning 93 trophies.
And Drasdo added: “As with the fans these special players have
MUFC running through their veins so you can understand why fans
would warm to the idea of working together with them on a better
ownership model for United.
“Gary Neville has recently voiced his admiration for the Bayern
Munich structure and that is also similar to the model which MUST
would like to see too. Munich benefit from shared ownership between
fans and commercial investors with people with real football
backgrounds in positions of power alongside the best professional
executives. That combination is potent and has turned Bayern
Munich into the powerhouse we see today.
“Like Munich, United don’t need a sugar daddy. We just need to be
released from the shackles of the Glazer ownership and allowed to
reinvest Manchester United’s own massive revenues for the benefit of
the club and fans.
“Sir Matt Busby always saw Manchester United like a family with
the owners, board, players and fans all working together. That is very
much our vision, too. We’d like to see every Manchester United fan
in the world able to own a stake in, and contribute to, their own
football club.”
Separately, Gary Neville and Giggs are concluding a deal to buy a
club — non-league Salford City — in the Manchester area.

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