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What Happened At The MUST and IMUSA Meeting?

Ahead of today’s victory over Burnley, about 300 United fans showed up at O’Briens in the Stretford Arndale to talk about what we’re going to do to reclaim our club. With reds divided on what is the best course of action, it was an opportunity for the supporters groups to get an idea of what the fans wanted to do.

As the microphone got passed around, the ideas ranged from brilliant to insane, but I really think we might be on to something.

Here were the main points:

- Draft a letter for as many fans as possible to send to Sir Alex Ferguson to ask for his resignation. As a socialist and a man concerned for the club, he should show the Glazers exactly what he thinks of them. Poor results and failure to qualify for Europe would mean the Glazers could no longer afford to even keep us afloat and we would go in to administration.

- When attending matches, don’t buy anything inside the ground. No programmes, no food, no beer.

- Don’t attend matches and don’t renew your season tickets. 20,000 or so fans haven’t renewed over the past five years, let’s keep pushing that number up.

- Get a figurehead for the movement. Eric Cantona?

- Get famous reds on board. Ian Brown, Manny etc. to increase the publicity.

- Team up with Liverpool supporters groups (this suggestion was booed and generally ridiculed).

- Have picket lines outside the ground and get leafleting going to raise awareness.

- Stick together. Whether you love or hate FC, whether you go to the games or you don’t, the division between us must be healed to allow us to work together in reclaiming out club.

But the best idea, the one that I think could actually happen and start to make a difference…

- Don’t go in to the ground until 5-10 minutes after kick off against AC Milan. With the eyes of the world watching, an empty stadium would really send out a message.

If we could all meet outside Sir Matt Busby’s statue and get the anti-Glazer chants going, then pour in to the stadium still chanting them, it would really draw attention to what we’re trying to do.

Realistically, we’re not going to be able to raise the money amongst fans to reclaim our club, so our issue now is raising awareness and getting people on board.

Lots of people there wanted full scale boycotts, with them already giving up their season tickets or not buying tickets for the games anymore. For me personally, I don’t see what not going to games brings. If I don’t pay £700+ for my season ticket, somebody else will. Whilst they were pleased that 20,000+ people had given up their season ticket, the point to note is the attendance figure isn’t down by 20,000+. Some people believe giving up their tickets is the best way to get Glazer out, and respect to them for putting in to practice something that must be so difficult for the sake of our club. But there are plenty of people who don’t believe giving up their seat will help solve our problems. If we all give up our tickets, our seats will still get filled, but by people who just fancy a day out. And then what?

Today, for the last ten minutes or so, there was continuous anti-Glazer chanting, which wouldn’t go on if we weren’t there. A group of lands unfurled a LUHG banner, before being chased out, then carried out. The best platform for us to get our message across is from inside the ground, with the media watching and reporting.

WE WANT GLAZER OUT!


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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267 Comments

  1. Red Devil says:

    @ Scott
    Thanks for letting us know of the goings on at the meeting.

    although any suggestions of boycott will only hurt the team and lads. Against AC Milan, our lads will need all the support they can get, I dont think that would be the right way to protest. Maybe at a subsequent premiership game would make more sense!

  2. willierednut says:

    Im glad a lot of united fans are starting to wake up to wat these gimps are doing to our club. LUHG

  3. King Eric says:

    steRDLK – Yeah completely agree pal. Are the ABU media creating a sgit storm because of our relatively poor form of late or does it coincide with the accounts released? I seem to recall it all blowing up prior to the accounts.

  4. King Eric says:

    *shit storm*

  5. willierednut says:

    Although the media do like to hype all things united up, it wasn’t them that put the club in debt. LUHG

  6. MG says:

    Di

    Start a facebook campaign?

  7. niklas89 says:

    Some good ideas here, however I think asking Sir Alex to quit in protest would almost certainly make the situation much worse. As for not buying programmes, beer, food or even tickets/season tickets- this may have worked some years ago when actual Man Utd fans filled Old Trafford, now it would make little if any difference and would result in 90% of fans in the stadium being random day trippers.

    I do think arriving late for a high profile game like AC Milan would definately make a statement and raise the profile of the cause but wont make an immediate difference and would also risk distracting the players which we do not need at the moment. Definately getting some high profile fans to join the cause would be a massive help, again would help raise awareness but would be by no means a quick fix, in the meantime get involved by handing out leaflets and making a fuss, constant anti-Glazer chants will do absolutely no harm whatsoever, plus a few banners, we all need to stick together here.

  8. party like its 1999 says:

    can anybody tell me if theres any truth in the rumour that a group of arabs have had a bid rejected for united. read this in d.star today. yanks out. cut out the supply of cash to these bastards…………..dont buy the united product until the yanks are gone, we need to contact every supporters branch throughout the world and get them to do the same. stick together and we will win this battle………..stay united……………its our club…….not theres.

  9. dl says:

    @ MG

    I’m guessing by di you meant me?

    I was having a look round the net to see if there were any webpage out there trying to drum up support for a possible fan takeover bid in the future and their seems to be several different fan sites at least talking about the possibility, the major players of this being MUST and IMUSA. The general concern being how to pull together the estimated 1.2billion needed to buy the glazers out (can i just double check that 1.2billion is made up of paying off the 800m debt of the club with the glazers going away with 400m in their pockets – not the whole 1.2b as if that was the case we’d have to raise around 2b to cover everything?)

    On the facebook front – i had a look around and the only major page that concentrates on trying to get the glazers out is the ‘we want the glazers out’ one which has around 17,000 fans last time i counted so it seems to be doing well. i think that the idea of facebook and perhaps also a an online petition as well is a really good idea as a starting point.

    There are a few major issues that i have with perhaps one of us starting up something:
    > I wouldn’t want to step on supporter groups feet like MUST trying to be an official takeover page. I’d imagine that if enough support was drummed up then someone like them would take over if it ever went down to finances
    > Facebook isn’t the most professional looking webpage and don’t you need to be a member of facebook to make comments/become a member and some people may not want to join facebook in order to support the cause. A site like this one (RoM) may be better as anyone can make comments anonymously with an online petition linked to it so you can get an idea of numbers – i think that means opening a blog type site which means that someone would have to spend time updating the news once in a while.
    > I know that many of you want to keep a fan takeover as england/uk only but as i think any campaign on this would be doing well if you got 1million fans reading from the uk but the majority of utd fans do come from off these shores and are as concerned about the clubs off field situation as us so it be wrong to alienate fans that could be of help. so it be useful to get fans on board that can speak a second language so that a site can reach as many fans as possible (plus i don’t think any major supporter site offers that as of yet so it be something new)

    Look, if there are enough people interested in really making some noise in this and would be willing to help drum up support then i have a little free time to get the ball rolling at least but obviously I don’t want to waste my time if no-ones interested. The main aim would have to be to get people listening (not donating as of yet as money talk often scares people off) and try and get all of the supporter groups talking to each other (both MUST and the ‘we hate the glazers’ facebook page have around 17,000 fans but they are probably not all the same fans – combine them together and you’d get probably around 30,000 factoring in fans who are already members of both) If a fan takeover bid was to ever go down i can’t see it going down earlier than 2012-2013 to allow time to gather the finances and because of the sheer amount you may need to get involved investers (who are legit utd fans and want to make a profit as they’re business people but have an actual emotional attachment to our club) with the fans holding at least a 51% controlling stake in the club.

    But numbers talk – say any fan takeover site got over 100,000 fans plus, even a million that would get a lot of interest from various avenues, perhaps even the media and it would put massive pressure on the glazers to do what’s best for the club and sell it on to an owner who actually gives a toss about the club which they bought (not just that they get a profit) like (i feel dirty typing this) chelsea’s situ (read http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2329097/Roman-Abramovich-clears-Chelsea-debt.html) – i think many fans would see that result as part success, buying time for a fan takeover later on.

    So is the above ideas you think people on here and other supporter sites would be interested in or do you think it’s a waste of time as more established sites like MUST and IMUSA are kind of doing it already?

  10. JW says:

    the idea of the 5-10 minutes boycott of the Milan game sounds good but as niklas 89 rightly says it could cause a huge impact on how the players perform. Also how many would actually partake in this boycott – same applies for renewing season tickets. Lets be honest looking around Old Trafford how many people would do it because I cant see 65,000+ reds doing this. Alot of fans are too pasionate to concede their season tickets and on matchday, fans such as daytripers (who’s numbers would be reduced if the Glazers haddn’t forced the real fans out) would not be so pasionate about the long term effects of these actions as they only think about seeing every minute of this once in a lifetime experince. Same with them in the club shop. We will always now be outnumbered at OT with the muppets who flood the club shop and buy shite – same inside the ground so that excludes the idea of not buying anything because some will always. But this could have an effect which in time could make them realise. I’m not excluding the ideas as I agree with them but Im being realistic and trying to make everyone not get their hopes up.

  11. MG says:

    @di

    Yes I meant you : )

    Valid points again

    Basically everything has to come under one banner – I think that’s a good starting point.

    The whole purpose is to gather as many United fans together with a statement of intent – meaning how much one should be willing to pay – also a clear plan on how it would work.

    You are right insofar as it will take time – they paid 800 plus million to buy the club which is the debt figure – and yes they will look to make a profit – you are also right if you suggest that if we can create enough of an intent – which it would have to be in order for someone to take the club over – or with us or to help us.

    Your ideas have weight – we just need to connect the dots together.

    Scott we need help – maybe you can create a link that each and every one of us can pledge an amount and begin to work at this?

    Also Scott maybe you can have a link to connect with United supporters here and afar?

    Again a starting point would be – a million United fans donate a thousand pounds each and we have what we want – this is just a theory but possible – and it’s a statement of intent and a pledge that could favour like you say someone looking on from the outside and coming to us with some serious cash – maybe we can work out what we could pull from there if it came serious

    di I respect you – as much as this is – if we can work at it – it’s not a waste of time – after all our vested interest is our club.

  12. Hurdy Gurdy Man says:

    Jay 1200 million is the same as 1.2 billion.

    I actually think the scouse idea is a good one. This way more fans will be seen to be demonstrating. At the end of the day as much as we all hate the dippers would we want to see them go under too? I wouldnt. I love the rivalry too much

  13. MG says:

    @di

    I’m working on it – I’m just writing anything at the moment so bear with me

    1 million fans x 1000 1b or
    2million fans x 500 1b

    It must be kept equal:

    After the club is bought each and every fan is bound to the club and can only sell his share out to a fellow fan for the value that he bought it out for and must notify the club. No fan can sell his share for any profit to any company or owner who wishes to pursue buying the club undertaking an oath that if he or she does so then they automatically loose any share they possess and that the share becomes invalid and that it becomes useless. Other fans will be given an opportunity to invest – again every fan is equal –

    Every fan will be treated equally – the ownership of the club is based on sentimental value not on any financial terms what-soever – when signing up this is to be be part of an historic precedent that the biggest club in the world is in the hands of the fans that adore it and love it and are willing to protect it from any further buy out. Consequently this will become a family run club with all the mechanics and the structure of the club in place. The CE will run the club and the manager will run the team. After the initial buy out each member is bound to a supporting fee of no more than hundred pounds (figure to be agreed upon).
    In return the club has a right to charge for membership but the fee must be fair. Ticket prices must be bought to a level of acceptance and any ticket season holder does have the right to opt out of any cup game which now they must attend to without any question. The club cannot make such decisions upon itself so it must invoke the following:

    MUST must have a member on the board in order to keep the fans up to date with what is happening at the club on a daily basis – as does the Republik of Mancunia – so therefore we nominate Scott the red to equally be available.

    Every season five members (numbers to be decided) must be allowed voluntarily to OT to oversee that the club is being run to the standards that the fans wish – it is also necessary that at no time any fan has a right to have a say in matters of the CE or the Manager. We should be present to make sure that the club is in good health financially and morally. The decisions to choose such members rests with the club or by a means of a lottery.

    We are all equal and we must be bound by that equality forever. In the case of a United fan passing way – his/her share automatically passes on to a nominated United fan in the family. Everything is kept as simple and as clear as possible.

    It is our attention to raise the intent of buying our club from as many fans as we can from our country. After this we must roll out a plan to contact every United supporters trust from all around the world.

    After the initial intent which must be signed up to – every United fan must be ready to pay into an account which will be over looked by a professional in order for honesty and to comply with every regulation regarding an eventual takeover. Everything will be done according to transparency – no United fan will be left in the dark – everything will be co-ordinated in order under one single banner – which as of yet is still in the works. However contact will be made with MUST and RedCafe and of course we will lead from this blog.

    Again we would also need a link where we can all sign up on this intent and of course agree upon which route we are taking – 1 million (1000 each) fans for a billion or 2 million (500 pounds each) fans for a billion.

    We need to do this – I believe we can set a precedent and change the course of our club forever – please better this proposal

  14. dl says:

    @ MG

    sorry it’s taken me so long to reply back – i’ll been ill and i’ve had a couple of uni things to sort out so this will be brief.

    i think we both agree (like many utd fans) that we need to start planning new options ahead whatever they are now and not wait a year or two as even though I think some fans see the current off field situ as perilful as of yet (which to an extent currently they could have a point), in 2 to 3 years time things could be much bleaker than they are now and if nothing else it would be a sensible idea to at least try and plan another option/a backup with as many fans as possible.

    i think that we both have slightly different ways to go about starting the process of getting a possible future fan takeover going. I know that the daily developments in the papers make people want to think of a solution & get it up and running as soon as possible, but personally i’ve always found that it’s a good idea to pace oneself, explore all avenues and plan out at every detail possible so that you don’t have any major issues popping up at a later point that are difficult to right at a later point – ie…don’t start planning how you’ll make your sushi & what type it’ll be until you’ve hooked the fish into your boat!!!

    apart from a zazzle page i’ve never set up a webpage but i’m a quick learner so I should be ok. I do have a background in art & design but don’t get your hopes up for a brilliantly designed site esp as you can only do so much on these free create you own site types. I am more inclined to set up something like this web (RoM) rather than facebook as if there are a number of fans like me then they’ll hate social networking sites (facebook, twitter, etc…) as much as I do, plus they are things that you can attach at a later point say if this www venture ended up being popular/successful.

    I think I can get something on the net in a week or so and update the thing at the beginning but long term (especially if (not jumping ahead as this could all bomb) this takes off in a major way) for 2 reasons I don’t think I would be the right person to run this – 1. i’m a student with a pretty full on workload, which if all goes well will lead straight on to a career with probably an even bigger workload and 2. I haven’t been a utd fan for nowhere near as long as probably the majority of ppl on this site, only 4 1/2 yrs (got into the game when I started my studies as no one else in my family like football, and when I was studying there you you get the impression that no other city can get you excited about football the same way manchester does – football wise the city is just special and therefore it’s major club (utd) is just as special and it is vital to preserve this great club for future generations, it’s a crime to the whole game if no one at least tries) which surely if someones going to run something that could make a difference it should be someone who’s been a lifelong fan for 25+ yrs?! for that reason i’ll create a separate contact email address to go with the site so someone else can take over at a later point when needed.

    one area I will need help with is emailing/contacting as many supporter groups/forums/other webtype groups (ie…the social networking groups) as I’m don’t comment on any other united site apart from this one and some people on RoM may already be in contact with other mods for other fan sites so that may be a more sensible idea. The main aim of this site should be to try and get as many individuals and utd supporter groups/forums/other webtype groups using it as a place to gain contacts and talk to each other (either on the site or outside) as possible as ways of keeping utd utd and more comfortable off the field than it is now (one way or another).

    I know you personal want to jump in but I personally think it will be better to start small(ish) and build up to the bigger stuff once their is a major audience (first locate the members of a choir, get them singing in tune, to the same tune at the same time, only then let them sing live – (i’m sorry i love my sayings as you can tell) and when looking round the web apparently someone’s try to break the record for largest online petition at 60m signatures and the largest facebook page has over 5.8 members. Therefore trying to get 1 to 5m signatures in support of discussing a possible fan takeover and ways of doing it may sound minor and even pointless to some but considering that a gavin and stacey facebook page campaign of over 140,000 members got reported in most of the major uk papers imagine what exposure and message 1m+ would send out to the world and it’s utd fans – it’d be pretty huge and if the time was to come it may be easier to gather the finances in terms of investments and donations from fans (and outsiders if need be) – mentioning sums over a 2 digit number straight off the bat may scare some fans off right now, lets drum up the support right now.

    Ok, i’m going to start planning this, get back to me if you have any ideas/thoughts – i’ll need people to look though the final thing to see if it’s suitable. If anyone has a major issue with this plan then put a message on this blog page and i’ll stop what i am doing as i don’t want to upset anyone.

    The bottom line in my thinking is that millions are complaining about the off field situ but don’t much of that % are actually doing something about it and that has to change if we are to increase the likelihood of things improving in the future.

    (n.b that wasn’t so brief a post in the end – sorry!!!!!)

  15. dl says:

    sorry i made a mistake on the 2nd paragraph, i meant to type

    “even though I think some fans DON’T see the current off field situ as perilful as of yet”

    makes a little more sense now!

  16. MG says:

    @di

    No problem I’ve written up in the blog City shouldn’t worry us…

    But again do you want to connect privately – azad ghani on facebook – as mentioned I’m sitting in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge

    I think we can do this…

  17. DarkDevil says:

    I’m not happy with the financial situation at the club either but by cutting the club off of money it needs at the moment, your just helping make things worse. The Glazers have screwed us financially but we wouldn’t be in this bloody situation if we didn’t have former major board members too greedy to consider the financial implications of selling the club to the Glazers.

    Also, to ask Ferguson to resign is not the answer. Ferguson has spent the last 20+ years building the club into what it is now. To ask him to resign now, is asking him to throw away all the work he’s put in to the club over those 20+ years and I think Ferguson would prefer to go out on his own terms.

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