MUST under attack, Questions for Ed Woodward, Choccy becomes MUST patron, Auto-Renewals

1. M.U.S.T under attack in smear campaign
2. Qs for Ed Woodward - response to United malaise?
3. Auto-renewals - are you set-up?
4. Win 5 x signed shirts: * Sheringham & Solskjaer * Cantona * Law * Stepney * Greenhoff & Pearson *
5. Great Scots - Choccy signs as MUST Patron - Denis signs for MUST members
  1. M.U.S.T under attack - smear campaign and Board response 
  2. Questions for Ed Woodward - response to United malaise?
  3. Auto-renewal - are you set up?
  4. Win 5 x signed shirts: * Sheringham & Solskjaer * Cantona * Law * Stepney * Greenhoff & Pearson
  5. Great Scots - Choccy signs as MUST Patron - Denis signs for MUST members
1. M.U.S.T under attack - smear campaign and Board response
The Board of MUST, the independent Manchester United Supporters Trust, has been made aware of recent attacks and misrepresentations on social media of the Trust, our Chief Executive and other Trust officers, by Tony O'Neill. 

It is disappointing that a United fan appears intent on undermining the main United fans’ organisation but sadly this is not the first time. He has tried this repeatedly over the years with a variety of different accusations, failing on every occasion, as he will this time. 

Without stating it explicitly, Mr O'Neill appears to be implying that MUST, or its officers, have committed financial improprieties that include misappropriation and even theft of funds. The Board of Directors categorically reject these smears. MUST (and its predecessor organisation Shareholders United) has always scrupulously documented all flows of money to and from member accounts as well as all of our operating income and expenditure. Members have always had the right to withdraw their funds (Withdrawable Share Capital) at any time. As a registered Co-operative and Community Benefit Society regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, MUST’s finances are thoroughly audited every year by an independent Chartered Accountancy and Business Consulting firm. These audits have always confirmed MUST’s compliance with relevant regulation and law.

Mr O’Neill also continues to misrepresent the aims of MUST .... READ FULL STATEMENT HERE:
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2. Questions for Ed Woodward - response to United malaise?
Questions for Ed Woodward - response to United malaise?
A disappointing end to the season saw the clamour for some form of protest against the Glazers surface once again. There are a few of us in MUST who've been through the Murdoch takeover campaign in 98/99,  the Glazer takeover campaign of 2004/5 followed by the Green & Gold 'uprising' of 2010 and so perhaps we're a bit less suceptible to knee-jerk responses to the dip in performances on the pitch.

Having said that we certainly don't see this as a short term symptom. As we predicted right back in 2005 we'd only see the true consequences of the Glazer takeover once Sir Alex had retired and that prediction has sadly proved all too accurate. 

We've undoubtedly been allowed to reinvest in the squad significantly more in the period since Fergie stood down but the damage had already been done in the 8 years of relative austerity that followed the 2005 takeover when a briliant squad, which peaked in perhaps 2008, was allowed to gradually decline rather than building on our success.

So while we are far from complacent about the current malaise we all see enveloping the Club we don't believe the best response is to revert to a hostile relationship with the board which would be the result if we chose protest rather than dialogue. 

It is fair to say that one of the main reasons we continued a war of attrition between 2005 and 2012 was precisely because we did not have a dialogue as the new board chose to cut off all relations with us after the takeover. The reality is that the flotation on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012 signalled the end of any chance of forcing an exit through financial pressure as, especially given the dual class share structure, it opened up an almost endless supply of funds to the owners through share sales. They could sell 90% of the shares while still retaining control through their 10 votes per share B class shares.

Having said that, we certainly would not criticise any other fans who chose to protest as their own response. We all share the same desire to see our Club as successful as possible and, in our view, that requires adopting the optimum ownership model which combines the right mix of supporter and investor shareholders to bring the optimum balance of commercial dirve and reinvestment of profits to deliver success on the pitch. Essentially the "German Model" is what we aspire to in the long term and we will never give up that objective.

So while it is true that other factors outside our control influenced the decision to end the hostile relationship it was, of course, the decision of the incoming new Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward to reopen dialogue with MUST and that dialogue has certainly borne significant fruit* albeit not the ultimate prize of that optimum ownership model we retain as our long term goal.

*For example see recent article: M.U.S.T action on behalf of MUFC Fans in last 3 months

When we were first invited to meet Ed Woodward he made a commitment to meet MUST and IMUSA 4 times a year and with the demise of IMUSA we might argue that we should have quarterly meetings. We've fallen woefully short of that with only a handful of such meetings over more than 5 years but to be fair we have not pushed for meetings as we felt that that the opportunity to progress was greater on issues affecting match going fans (which we've pursued with Richard Arnold) than the bigger issues of ownership which would form the agenda of meetings with Ed Woodward.

That being said, while we feel we have made great strides in some areas affecting matchgoing fans we have been disappointed with the lack of progress following our meetings with Ed Woodward and perhaps now is the time to revisit some of the ideas we'd like to explore including the reinvention of a fans' share scheme to start to build a significant share ownership stake through our huge global fanbase. You'd think the Club would see that as a win-win.

It has been a longstanding policy of MUST that we do not comment on nor get involved in football matters. The last thing any manager needs is a fan group who think they know better than the professionals appointed to the role! However when things are going wrong and it appears to be systemic rather than a short term blip we do think it is appropriate to ask questions and feed back fan concerns. So we'd like to get some answers to questions about the strategy for our Football Club. Whether it is investment in squad, youth, facilities (including stadium) or the management structure including the expertise of the people making the player recruitment decisions, the appointment of a Director of Football, reassurance that funds are ring fenced and made available to people with football expertise.

So we will be requesting a meeting with EW and hope to arrange this over the summer but failing that we will be writing to express concerns and relay the views of our members and the wider fanbase who choose to participate in our consultation survey.

To assist with that survey we'd like to hear from our Full Members first - what are the questions we should be asking in the survey? What are the questions we should be asking EW? What do you want to be fed back to the board? You can send comments to us through our helpdesk select "I have a comment or suggestion for MUST" as the "Subject"

Either way we'll send you the survey so you can have your say and we'll make sure the fans' voice is heard in the board room at Old Trafford (and in Florida too).

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3. Auto-renewal - are you set up?
For those of you who have already set up your account for auto-renewal, if it has not done so already, this should go through on 1st June provided you have a valid card registered with us. We are aware of some issues (including old certificate) but please bear with us while we fix them as we are made aware of them.

If your expiry date is 30/06/2019 or earlier your membership is due for renewal 

If you wish to renew now you can login to your account and click the RENEW UNTIL 30/06/2020 button on your profile screen. If you have sufficient funds you can renew from your WSC by selecting WSC as payment mechanism on the payment page (at the bottom below card option) or alternatively pay by card. Any queries please call us on 0161 872 3300 or open a helpdesk ticket if you prefer.

Note we do not store your card number ourselves. They are stored securely by STRIPE (one of the top payment processing providers globally) and we just have a unique link to allow our system to make payment requests when authorised by you.

If you have not already set up a payment card for auto-renewal please do so now and you will be entered into the prize draw. We are giving away 5 signed shirts as a gesture of thanks to members who set up auto-renewal or renew before 30th June (see item 4 below). Instructions for setting up a payment card and auto-renewal are shown in the text and image below.

Using your membership number login to your account here:

Adding a payment card
Step 1 - From the main menu click on “MY ACCOUNT > 
Step 2 - Click on “
MANAGE CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS” to expand the section and then click on “Add New Card”
Step 3 - Enter your card details (ensuring you use the correct billing address) in the popup and then click “Save” 
Step 4 - Check your card has been added 

Setting up auto-renewal
Step 1 - In your “My Account” area, click on the edit icon (a pencil image in top right corner of profile)
Step 2 - Scroll down to the “auto-renewal” section and tick the “Auto renewal membership” check box
Step 3 - Enter your password to save the change
Step 4 - Check you profile to confirm auto-renewal is set to ON
Special Prize Draw
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4. Win 5 x signed shirts: * Sheringham & Solskjaer * Cantona * Law * Stepney * Greenhoff & Pearson *
Special Prize Draw for early and auto-renewals
Don't say we never give you anything for free!

This is a FREE Prize Draw as a thank you to all our Full Members who renew before 30th June. Ideally you set up a payment card and auto-renewal before 1st June so this happens automatically which makes life a lot easier for our office people!

On 1st July we will export a list of all those Full Members who have renewed and we will draw out 5 members to receive one signed shirt each. Winners will be announced on the website and social media.

Alex Stepney hand signed 1968 European Cup Final Goalkeeper shirt
- also available on the MUST Shop for £150 unframed
1999 Champions League Final shirt signed by the goalscorers Sheringham & Solskjaer
- also available on the MUST Shop for £295 unframed
1977 FA Cup Final shirt signed by goalscorers Pearson & Greenhoff
- also available on the MUST Shop for £175 unframed
Denis Law Signed 1973 Manchester United shirt
- also available on the MUST Shop for £150 unframed
Eric Cantona signed iconic 94 Black "Kung Fu" shirt
- also available on the MUST Shop for £275 unframed

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5. Great Scots - Choccy signs as MUST Patron - Denis signs for MUST members
Great Scots - Choccy signs as MUST Patron - Denis signs for MUST members
A quick heads up on two forthcoming announcements which will be covered in more detail in the next email.

Firstly, we're very proud to announce that Brian "Choccy" McClair has agreed to become a patron of MUST. He said he wants to be quite hands on and get stuck in so we are looking forward to that and will be kicking off with a short article summing up a quick chat we had over a few pints we recently enjoyed with Choccy at a well known Manchester hostelry (The Peveril of the Peak). 

Secondly, Denis Law has agreed to do a private signing session for MUST scheduled for late June. We will provide details soon including the option for name personalised pre-orders of shirts and other items. If you are on Twitter follow @MUSTShop_org to keep an eye on announcements. If you'd like to receive an email about this and other special offers just send an email to with the subject SUBSCRIBE 

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