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22/10/2010

Glazers cave in to pressure over Rooney contract

Following the news today that Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract a MUST spokesperson said:

"Like most supporters we are astonished but delighted by the news that Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract to stay at Manchester United. However many supporters are also expressing a degree of resentment if not anger that this whole thing had to be played out in public and that is what it took to force the Glazers to relent.

Recent financial results showed that Manchester United is generating a record turnover and yet we are clearly struggling to compete for the best players in the world and indeed to hold on to our best players. To lose Rooney on top of Ronaldo and Tevez was almost unthinkable. The pressure on the Glazers is intensifying and although they may have postponed an immediate fans' revolt what has been said and done this week can't be unsaid and undone. The concerns over the impact of their debt and the millions they are taking out of the club remain and clearly that concern extends to the dressing room too. Fans are understandably concerned about the levels of pay of footballers but these sums are dwarfed by the amount of Manchester United's money the Glazers have wasted through their takeover.

In fact, given the Glazers have taken around £470m out of the club in interest and fees and landed it with more than 700m of debt, it isn't credible to assert that it isn't having an impact on the club's ability to compete for the top players.

Had Rooney left it would have been disastrous for Manchester United on the pitch but actually an even bigger blow to the Glazers and clearly they rightly feared a huge fans rebellion. We've already seen them freeze ticket prices this season and this week we learned from well placed sources (and confirmed on Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-20/manchester-united-debt-soars-amid-glazers-concerns-over-backlash-by-fans.html ) that fear of a further fans backlash has so far prevented the Glazers from exercising the option to take a further one-off £70m out of the club along with additional dividends to pay down part of the PiK.

Supporters are recognising the power they have - in particular the potent force that is the Green & Gold symbol of opposition to their ownership - and the pressure needs to be maintained on the Glazers firstly to prevent them from taking yet more money out and secondly to force them to start to reinvest in the club or preferably to put the club up for sale.

The Green & Gold campaign is growing again and sponsors such as AON, Nike and Audi will be key targets for supporters in order to apply further pressure to the Glazers in an effort to prevent them siphoning more funds out of the club."

 A protest march 'United Against Glazer' (which MUST is supporting) is also planned for 30th October prior to the Spurs home game with the main march departing from Old Trafford Cricket Ground at 5pm (having started from the Trafford Bar Metro at 4.15pm), There will be a photo opportunity in front of the Megastore at 5.15pm (Kick off is 5.30pm)

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MUST - the Manchester United supporters' trust
164,452 MEMBERS STRONG
www.joinmust.org
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