An open letter to the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United Football Club, from The Manchester United Supporters' Trust, representing United fans in over 100 countries.
6th August 2012
Dear Glazer Family,
Despite your promises when you took control of Manchester United Football Club in 2005 you have consistently refused to speak to fans.
This open letter is our only guarantee you will hear our voice.
Your leveraged and hostile takeover has cost in the region of £520million in debt related interest, repayments and fees, and the current balance sheet still shows debt of over £430million so in total your ownership has cost the club a staggering £360,000 or so a day.
Included in those sums are the many millions you have taken personally.
You have openly admitted your model of ownership is unsustainable and that this level of debt is harmful to the future success of the club.
We are currently lobbying your IPO advisors and have called for a global boycott of sponsorsâ€™ products.
The only core revenue stream directly in your control - commercial sponsorship may have grown during your tenure but the opportunities to sweat your asset are finite.
Long term you are eroding brand value and fan goodwill and operating profit has been falling over the past three years.
More worryingly the ability to invest meaningfully and competitively in the team is being restricted.
We support the players individually, the manager wholeheartedly and the team unconditionally but we can never accept your ownership as being anything but bad for the club.
The club needs to return to its pre-takeover debt free status as quickly as possible, where profits are used to invest primarily in the team â€“ especially in youth development, the stadium, the local community and building on the club's historic legacy.
We call on you now to cancel the planned IPO and structure a full float, with a single class of full voting share - or to willingly offer the club for sale at a realistic price.
We would support a flotation wholeheartedly and encourage the global fan base of Manchester United Football Club to take such an historic opportunity to secure a meaningful fan ownership stake where the priorities of the club are the same as the fans â€“ not absentee owners.
We invite Manchester United supporters around the world to come together â€“ register interest with MUST through our website www.joinmust.org to help create the future Manchester united we all want to see.
Duncan Drasdo, MUST CEO @DrasdoGerald Shamash, MUST Chairman
MUST. The Manchester United Supporters Trust www.joinmust.orgManchester, UK.