Manchester United’s season starts on Sunday with a game at Old Trafford against Brighton. Fan group The 1958 have already announced plans for the protest, continuing on from the efforts towards the close of last season, to voice our displeasure against our Glazer owners.
Coming from a different angle of opposition, MUST held the first of several members’ meetings to formally launch the consultation process on the proposals they have negotiated with the club on the creation of a new Fan Share scheme. The vast majority of fans present said they would vote to approve proceeding with the FSS proposal. The ballot of members closes next Tuesday and if MUST members vote in favour they will proceed to the club’s Board.
The thinking behind the FSS is to build the collective fan share ownership stake but progress has been slow. Following the postponement of the United vs Liverpool game in 2021, the Glazers promised the world, but we’ve yet to see any impact. Negotiations between the club and MUST have lasted over 18 months because they said they have pushed for the best possible deal they could get.
If the scheme is approved by both MUST members and Manchester United Board the full details of the share offers can then be published in compliance with financial regulations and it is at that point that we can review the offer in detail and every United supporter can decide whether or not they wish to participate.
MUST’s vision is to turn United into a club with a huge fan shareholder base and growing collective ownership stake for supporters. Their aim is to create the biggest fan shareholder movement in world football. The FSS offers a vital first step towards that long-term goal. The initial phase is all about building the mass fan shareholder base which can then be leveraged over time to establish a meaningful stake in the club where fans will have real influence through their collective voting power.
Having fans owning shares is the best long-term guarantee of making sure United fans have a much bigger influence over the direction of the club than we’ve had in the past, and this is true whoever the majority owners are.
Under the FSS, fan (F) shares would carry the same high voting weight (10x) as the Glazers’ B shares, and the proceeds of the share sales will be reinvested in the club. The Glazers and other shareholders will not profit from this scheme.
MUST’s intention initially is to maximise the size of the fan shareholder base – so the number of fan shareholders is more important than the number of shares each fan holds. Once that large base is established we can ramp up the collective shareholding to a really meaningful level.