Open Letter to Potential Bidders for Manchester United

To any bidder for Manchester United Football Club:
We, the undersigned, represent Manchester United fans from all backgrounds and walks of life. 
We understand very well why you wish to buy the Club. We believe Manchester United is the greatest sporting institution in the world and hope we will have a new owner that will nurture, invest and, most of all, recognise that their role as the steward of Manchester United is to run the club in partnership with the supporters, in a way which recognises that a football club is far more than just a commercial asset.
As you contemplate the nature of any offer you may wish to make to the present owners, we believe it may be helpful to you to understand what supporters want from any new owner, in order to secure the support of the fans. The principles below are based on our longstanding principles established over two decades as the Supporters Trust and regular open consultation with our fans. Concurrent with the publication of this open letter ( we have initiated a further comprehensive consultation process reaching out to every fan group and supporter globally. This will inform updates to the contents of the live letter, including addition of co-signatories, on the link above.
Debt, equity, investment and returns
1.  The present owners took Manchester United from being a club with no debt to being one of the most heavily indebted football clubs in the world. That debt has never been paid down and has hung around our neck like a millstone. Any successful bid should not be based on debt and should include a commitment to replace existing debt, and fund future capital expenditure, through new share issues.
2.  Football Clubs are different from ordinary businesses. Owners of football clubs, just as all other supporters, should be giving to their club rather than taking from it for their own benefit. The present owners have taken hundreds of millions out over a prolonged period of time, during which the club has been failing. There should be no rewards for failure, and the first priority for profits should always be reinvestment into the club.
3.  Manchester United needs urgent new capital investment - to modernise both the stadium and training ground, as well as long term guarantees about available spend on players across the men’s team, women’s team and youth setup. We want to hear your plan to invest substantial funds in the playing side of the club as well as in infrastructure such as the stadium.
4.  Shared ownership with the fans as partners. In contrast to the current dual class share structure there should be a single class of shares with the same voting rights for all shareholders. The club should raise funds through regular share issues to fans, replacing debt with equity at every opportunity and growing the collective small fan shareholder stake.
5.  If you do not intend to list Manchester United as a public company in the UK, then we expect you still to commit to the exact same levels of corporate governance, reporting and transparency.
6.     The formal company governance should be supplemented by structures to ensure the voice of fans is heard at the highest level. The existing club structures of Fans Advisory Board and Fans Forum, should be extended to enhance independent representation. Fans' interests should also be represented on the main company board as well as the creation of properly independent directors on said Board.
The soul of the sporting organisation
7. Heritage issues including club colours, name, playing location and name of the stadium are matters of vital concern to supporters. Any consideration to change them should require definitive consent of fans.
8. The words “Football Club” should be restored to the badge on the shirt.
9. Manchester United should continue to develop, support and promote the women’s team, which should be considered an important part of the future of the club.
10. Youth development and the Academy system should continue to be an integral part of the identity of Manchester United and the playing squad
11. The club should commit to never again seek to enter any competition similar to the European Super League, and any proposal to change the competitions the club enters should require definitive consent of fans.
12. A clear plan to maintain the affordability of match tickets for ordinary fans, including the next generation of fans, is essential, including maintaining the current ticket price freeze and prioritising growth of other income streams. 
The above requirements are proposed in the best interests of the club and the fans, and any good owner should not consider them excessive or unduly demanding.
At this stage, we urge any prospective bidder to enter into a dialogue with fans. We believe that doing so will help them come up with the best offer possible, and the best plan possible. We look forward to establishing a dialogue with any interested parties to understand their intentions and enlarge on the principles outlined above.
While we are reaching out to all Manchester United supporters organisations, any such group  that wishes to add their name in support of this letter, should contact (note this email is for MUSC and fan groups only).

Co-signatories (as at 11am 17th December 2022 this document is being updated regularly)

Officially Recognised Manchester United Supporters Groups:
MUST - the Manchester United Supporters Trust
MUDSA - Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association
MUFC Women’s Supporters Club
Rainbow Devils
Members of the MUFC Fans Forum

Fanzines, other Fan Media and other Fan Groups
RED NEWS Fanzine
Stretty News
Barmy Article - MU Women fanzine
No Question About That - NQAT Podcast
Columbus Red Devils

Official Manchester United Supporters Club Branches:
1. MUSC Scandinavia
2. MUSC Pontypridd
3. MUSC West Limerick
4. MUSC London Association
5. MUSC High Peak Branch
6. MUSC Clare
7. MUSC Omagh
8. MUSC NSW Australia
9. MUSC Atlanta
10. MUSC Jersey
11. MUSC Edinburgh Reds
12. MUSC South West Scotland and Carlisle Branch
13. MUSC Berwick-upon-Tweed
14. MUSC Sligo
15. MUSC North Yorkshire
16. MUSC San Diego
17. MUSC Indianapolis
18. MUSC Washington DC (Red Devils DC)
19. Manchester United London Fan Club
20. MUSC Limavady
21. MUSC Malta
22. MUSC Barnsley
23. MUSC Pakistan
24. Glasgow MUSC
25. MUSC Bristol, Bath & District Branch
26. MUSC Crewe & Nantwich Branch
27. MUSC Cookstown N.I
28. MUSC Hong Kong
29. Fleetwood MUSC
30. MUSC Muckamore Reds
31. MUSC South Africa
32. MUSC Leicestershire
33. MUSC Newton Le Willows
34. MUSC Rugby and Nuneaton
35. Heywood MUSC
36. MUSC Cyprus
37. MUSC Finland
38. MUSC Athens
39. MUSC Hereford
40. Red Army Italy
41. MUSC Red flag Belgium
42. MUSC Bridgwater & South West
43. MUSC Maldives Glory
44. MUSC New Delhi
45. Portstewart MUSC
46. MUSC Nottingham
47. MUSC Croatia
48. MUSC South Down
49. Goan Red Devils
50. MUSC Pune
51. MUSC Glamorgan and Gwent
52. MUSC Grimsby
53. MUSC Austria Red Devils
54. MUSC Arklow
55. MY Malaysia MUSC
56. MUSC Iraq
57. MUSC Los Angeles
58. MUSC East Yorkshire
59. MUSC Oxford & Banbury
60. MUSC Galway
61. MUSC Birmingham
62. MUSC Ballymoney Branch
63. MUSC Surrey
64. MUSC Belgium - Flanders Mancunians
65. MUSC Lagan Branch
66. MUSC Botswana
67. MUSC Chennai
68. MUSC Baku Reds, Azerbaijan
69. MUSC Cyprus Fan Club
70. MUSC Rostrevor
71. MUSC MUFC Peru
72. MUSC Sierra Leone
73. MUSC West Cumbria
74. MUSC Killaloe/Roscrea
75. Kolkata MUSC
76. MUSC Portadown
77. MUSC Malaysia
78. Strabane MUSC
79. MUSC Qatar
80. MUSC Southport
81. MUSC New York Reds
82. MUSC Hastings
83. Co. Longford Branch MUSC
84. Middleton MUSC
85. MUSC Corby & Kettering
86. MUSC Yeovil
87. MUSC Plymouth
88. MUSC Keighley
89. MUSC Phoenix Red Devils
90. MUSC Brighton
91. MUSC Mumbai
92. MUSC Swansea
93. Redditch MUSC
94. MUSC Mauritius Red Devils
95. Swiss Devils MUSC
96. MUSC Germany
97. Brisbane MUSC
98. East Anglia MUSC
99. Tralee MUSC
100. MUSC Kyiv Reds
101. MUSC Iceland
102. MUSC Nagpur
103. MUSC Cleveland Red Devils
104. MUSC Luxembourg
105. MUSC Hampshire Branch
107. MUSC Romania
108. MUSC Wellingborough Branch
109. Tipperary Town MUSC
110. MUSC Gibraltar Branch
111. MUSC Stalybridge
112. MUSC Royton
113. MUSC Liechtenstein
114. MUSC Ghana
115. Harrogate & Knaresborough MUSC
116. MUSC Torbay
117. MUSC Canada
118. Mauritius United Army MUSC
119. MUSC Tunisia
120. West Belfast MUSC
121. MUSC Indy
122. MUSC Zimbabwe
123. MUSC Memphis Reds
124. MUSC Suisse
125. Craigavon MUSC
126. MUSC Dublin
127. MUSC Dallas Reds
128. MUSC North Staffordshire
129. Tower Ards MUSC
130. MUSC Bangalore
131. MUSC Kerala
132. MUSC Laois
133. MUSC Portaferry

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