As fans, we should be united in wanting to get rid of ownership which is holding our club back. Looking at what we’ve won since 2005, that is in spite of the Glazers.
This isn’t about MUST, this isn’t FC United, or anything else that can at times cause divides amongst our fanbase. This isn’t about whether you’ll never step foot inside Old Trafford against whilst the Glazers are there, whether you think the Red Knights are our way out or the devil we don’t know, or whether you think AndersRed figures are over hyped propaganda. It’s about joining together to put pressure on the Glazers in attempt to search for owners who don’t screw us over as badly as we’re getting screwed over now.
Will it be some utopia without the Glazers? Well, it’s unlikely that can ever be achieved now. Do we want a sheikh or Abramovich? That would obviously be far more desirable than our current situation, but would that be perfection? Whatever City and Chelsea fans want to say about bitterness or anything else, given their financial situation in comparison to ours, do we want some rich sugar daddy to throw money at us and buy us trophies? Do we want a load of mercenaries who couldn’t care less about the club? Do we want there to be no room for our home growns?
The ideal is for us to be successful in our own right. Christ, we are the “most valuable sports franchise” in the fucking world. Of every team, of every sport in the whole world, United are valued the highest, most recently, £1.2bn. More than Real Madrid, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. So yes, we should be able to spend money, money we’ve generated through our success and fanbase, but we don’t need to blitz the market. We don’t need to spend hundreds of millions of quid in a summer or two but we do need to spend more than we have done.
If we can get rid of the Glazers through our protests, then you’d imagine we’d avoid ownership like them again. Not that our next owners would be letting us in for free, but hopefully we would have sent a message that would put off owners who wanted to dick us about like the Glazers have.
Regardless, the only way we’re going to get there is if we put pressure on the Glazers. For every year they’re bringing in less money from season tickets, corporate seats, the megastore, MUTV etc. the more open-minded they will become for accepting an offer. The value of the club goes down the more desperate they become to sell, so how far do they push it? There isn’t a never-ending conveyor belt of people prepared to buy a season ticket and the larger our protests grow, the more concerned they will have to be on how much money they can make in a sale.
One way we can put pressure on them is by not buying the new shirts they bring out. The current deal they have with Nike expires in 2013, which gives us plenty of time to try to have an impact on sales and therefore put pressure on Nike not to renew their deal. We’re not talking about small fry either. This current deal is worth £303m and it’s not just our shirts but all merchandising rights. Would another company want to take that on, knowing a boycott is in place? Or would they take it on at that price?
So don’t buy the new shirt, wear your old ones instead. For the Liverpool game, it would be great if any many people going as possible could wear their old shirts. Whatever your opinion on the green and gold protest, this isn’t working in place and doesn’t need to be a long term protest. It won’t be as visually impressive as green and gold but this is a practical protest too, spreading the word and raising awareness to boycott buying the new shirt.
We’re also running a competition for this game on RoM for the best picture from the day. Whether you’re going to the game, watching it in the local or you’re at home, the best picture of you, or you and your mates, or you and your family, or whatever, will win you a shirt from Treble year. Vintage Football Shirts are kindly supplying us with the prize. They have a massive range of Manchester United shirts dating back to the 70’s and if you’re looking to buy an old shirt, they’re a great place to start. Also, if you’ve got lots of old shirts hanging about, they’re happy to buy shirts off you.
So, blow the dust off your old shirts and spread the word!
We Ate All The Pies: David McNally from Timperley, Nagraj Chandrasekar from India and Gareth Goodinson from New Zealand all won a copy of We Ate All The Pies?: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole.
Old kids shirt: Louis Matthews from Hertfordshire won the kids 98-00 third shirt.