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THE Manchester United Supporters Trust (Must) has written an open letter to co-chairman Joel Glazer urging the club owners to engage in fan consultation to avoid a repeat of the scenes at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Must said they did not want to stage further protests, like the one which caused the postponement of the home match with Liverpool, and outlined a way forward with a four-point plan.
“On the back of the indefensible ESL proposals, and an ‘apology’ from the Glazers which we do not accept, we need to give fans a meaningful share in the ownership of United and a meaningful voice in how it is run.
“The government now needs to act. That has to mean a process which results in fans having the opportunity to buy shares in their club and more to the point no single private shareholder holding a majority ownership of our football clubs which allows them to abuse that ownership.”
“Let’s be very clear that no-one wants what happened at Old Trafford yesterday to be a regular event.
“What happened was the culmination of 16 years in which your family’s ownership of the club has driven us into debt and decline, and we have felt ever more sidelined and ignored.
“After 16 years not one member of the Glazer family has ever had so much as a conversation with us, the club’s Supporters Trust.
“Yesterday, that frustration reached boiling point. We support the right of fans to protest lawfully and, although we did not personally witness any such acts, of course we do not condone any acts of violence.
“None of us want this to continue. We all have better things to do. So we need to find a way forward.”
The plan asks for engagement in the government’s fan-led review of football governance, the appointment of independent directors to the board to protect the interests of the football club, work with MUST and supporters on a fan share scheme and consultation with season ticket holders on significant changes at the club.
Must have asked for a public and written response by Friday.
“This is the only way to move this issue on. We strongly suggest you take it,” concluded the letter.
Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters made their protest peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.
“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We should all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behaviour of those at the top of the game.”
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