General

28/06/2019

#GlazersOut Protests

The Manchester United Supporters Trust
 
#GlazersOut Protests on Twitter and outside Old Trafford
 
 

We want owners who have the same priorities as supporters. That's what we have always had as our primary objective and clearly that requires current owners to sell so #GlazersOut is nothing new for us - but how that is achieved is key and there are different tactical approaches
 
Over the last few weeks the rumbling discontent of United fans at the malaise enveloping the Club has emerged as a new social media protest, particularly on Twitter using the #GlazersOut hashtag. This article #GlazersOut - Everything you NEED to know by Michael Tunstall @TFWriter has proved a particularly popular explanation.

While these are grass roots independent fan campaigns rather than MUST initiatives we all share the frustration that has brought us to this point. Of course MUST led the  campaign against the Glazer takeover from 2004. Following the takeover in 2005 the new regime cut off all official dialogue with MUST leaving protest as our only mechanism to express discontent and try to promote a change in ownership. No doubt the continued protests led to that reopening of dialogue, and indeed the freezing of ticket prices ever since, as well as the rolling back of some other detrimental initiatives we opposed at that time.
 
We want owners who have the same priorities as supporters. That's what we have always had as our primary objective and clearly that requires current owners to sell so #GlazersOut is nothing new for us - but how that is achieved is key and there are different tactical approaches

So while we do have a dialogue at board level which is not available to others we respect the right of all fans to peaceful protest as long as it does not impact on the manager and team. Perhaps it is worth stating though, we've never met the Glazers, despite some conspiracy theorists' deliberate attempts to misrepresent us as somehow "in bed" with them! Furthermore we have seen positive results from that dialogue, primarily for match going fans, but it is fair to say we don't feel dialogue has delivered enough. This is particularly true on moves to promote growth in supporter share ownership which we feel is key to an optimum ownership model for our Club and could well be viewed as mutually beneficial. So, if there is resistance to this, it is puzzling. If the MUFC board want to argue that dialogue is more productive than protest then now would be a good time for them to demonstrate this!
 
We're not going to criticise any other United supporters approach. We all want the same outcome ultimately. We've had enough division caused by United supporters who think only they are right - it is counterproductive so negative accounts - especially anonymous ones - unfollow us

So while we continue to pursue our current approach, and support the right of fans to protest, we must all guard against division in our fanbase as that weakens the collective fan position and only serves those who do not share our objectives or those individuals who appear to have their own agendas to exploit division for some unclear motivation.
 
After 2010, when others lost interest, we produced a report and the key finding was that any protest would not ultimately deliver change on its own - without an alternative ownership model. The latter was what drove participation

MUST continued to lead the protest campaign until support from the wider fanbase had diminished to, literally, single figures in the years that followed the 2010 Green & Gold campaign.
 
We produce a report a year later in 2011 and the key lesson from that campaign was
"The driver of our eventual success is not the depth of the problem, but the credibility of the solution"

 

In other words - it isn't how bad the situation is with the Glazers that motivates people - it is the belief that there is a mechanism in place which will provide a real opportunity to change the situation for the better. We have seen protests in various forms, from LUHG stickers, to flash mobs and marches, to the formation of a new football club in FC United. They all played a role to maintain pressure but they cannot provide a complete solution to our problem as history has amply demonstrated.

 
Unless we grow to 1 million+ members interested in ownership participation an alternative model is largely outside our control but we remain in touch with
 
We get criticised by some (although often people who are simply hostile to us) for relentlessly pursuing membership growth but there is a very important reason for this and it isn't about generating funds for MUST itself, although that is essential too of course. It is about having the sort of numbers required to make a serious impact and we're really talking 7 figures rather than 6 hence the oft used figure of 1 million+.
That's why in 2010 we stopped promoting paid membership and purely pushed for people to sign up as free e-members. That is as important now as it was then but we can lead the horse to water but we can't make it drink. So now is a good time to remind all our members (Full, Match Going or Free "Lite" members) that building the mass membership is crucial - please encourage supporters to join us here: www.imust.org.uk/join
 
These clips below, also from the same 2011 report, show our key conclusions. Some parts of that report have aged better than others but the key conclusions have stood up pretty well:
 
 

So this analysis above formed our approach from 2011 onwards
 
Consequently we've seen our role transform to primarily about shaping an alternative model and hence that's been our focus. If you disagree and want to change MUST policy you can influence that as a member. We'll be consulting members over the coming weeks

Members are welcome to send in their views. If you don't have a log in on the new website you can join as a Free Lite member here: imust.org.uk/join
Then send us your thoughts through the helpdesk system here:
But if you're not interested in joining but think you should have more influence than our members who've donated, volunteered & supported the organisation don't be surprised to hear we don't agree. And if you just want to snipe from the sidelines then you are part of the problem

So of course we welcome views of all supporters but we aren't going to be deflected from pursuing the policies we believe best serve our objectives and those more interested in point scoring and negativity are part of the problem and will be ignored and/or blocked. Those with differing views on tactics are welcome but have to accept that, while we will listen with genuine openness, it may be that we don't all reach the same conclusion. Let's concentrate on the areas of agreement rather than difference
 
IN CONCLUSION
Yes we are publicising the current protests to our members
 
No we aren't the instigators but we respect the right of those who are, to pursue the tactics they wish to, and we all share the same long term desire to see a better Manchester United ownership model
 
Yes we are continuing our approach of dialogue with the board, although we continue to review its effectiveness, as well as our long term goal of an optimum ownership model including majority supporter ownership. That requires membership growth, both free Lite and Full Membership so we encourage all United fans who want to influence the future of the club, whether you're a protestor or not, to join us and help us reach 1 million+ of our huge global fanbase.
 
They can join as a Free Lite member here: imust.org.uk/join
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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