MUST | Sign For United | Fan Ownership

DSG

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We are not being run well. That much is obvious even to a blind man who's got sound-cancelling headphones on 24/7.

One of the key things in running a company is making sure you have the right tools for the job. We have a leaking stadium that's not been upgraded for years which has also cost us money. Just a few weeks ago, the swimming pool was unavailable. Our senior women's team coach left because of our poor facilities. These are things directly linked to making our resources work the best for the Manchester United, the football club and the business.

On the transfer side, we are slow, make awfully expensive purchases, have no long-term strategy. Our contract renewals are a complete joke. Once again, this is because we lack specialists in those roles, who know our industry (i.e. the sport of football) well.

All this bullshit about running United being difficult is just a load of nonsense. We're not struggling financially. We can easily go and appoint a few good people that will cost us - at most - £5-10m a year but will probably pay that investment off in a matter of months when we don't sign the Harry Maguires of this world for stupid money.

The way people go on about running businesses on here, you'd think you'd need to be some sort of modern-day genius. You don't and this is espically true with the resources and stature we have at our club.
Spoken like someone who has never run a large company before.

I never said that the Glazers / Woodward were doing a good job. I just said there is a complexity to it that outsiders are not privy to....
 

Rightnr

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Spoken like someone who has never run a large company before.

I never said that the Glazers / Woodward were doing a good job. I just said there is a complexity to it that outsiders are not privy to....
And you know this how? Because you make it out as if you need to have superpowers to run a busines, we should all bow down to your superior knowledge? Spare me, please. More often than not, it's knowing the right people, not having the right skill-set that gets you in these position and this is never more obvious than seeing Ed Deadwood and friends running this club into the ground with their incompetence.

And this complexity you refer to is just another excuse. It's not like Joel Glazer is doing the books himself. They hire people for this and time and again they've proven they hire absolute chumps. If you have poor decision-making, that to me is the biggest sin you can have as a professional and these owners and their lackies have proven this to be the case time and again. Oh, and arrogance.
 

Random Task

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You have a one track mind when it comes to double D's.

Don't try and hide it.
I'm a fan of DD's, I won't lie.

So what's up with this guy, is he not good enough to run MUST?
 

DSG

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And you know this how? Because you make it out as if you need to have superpowers to run a busines, we should all bow down to your superior knowledge? Spare me, please. More often than not, it's knowing the right people, not having the right skill-set that gets you in these position and this is never more obvious than seeing Ed Deadwood and friends running this club into the ground with their incompetence.

And this complexity you refer to is just another excuse. It's not like Joel Glazer is doing the books himself. They hire people for this and time and again they've proven they hire absolute chumps. If you have poor decision-making, that to me is the biggest sin you can have as a professional and these owners and their lackies have proven this to be the case time and again. Oh, and arrogance.
Okay there, fella. Not here to defend the Glazers and I had some pretty mild posts about running a company. I see you are angry and agitated, just not sure why I was singled out. Because I said it’s hard to run multi-billion pound corporations? Cheers mate.
 

TheReligion

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I'm a fan of DD's, I won't lie.

So what's up with this guy, is he not good enough to run MUST?
I think many people don't like MUST as they feel they were too passive during the initial takeover and have sought to co-exist with the Glazers rather than remove them.

You know the Caf though. People post things without really explaining themselves and most of the time its negative.
 

Rightnr

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Okay there, fella. Not here to defend the Glazers and I had some pretty mild posts about running a company. I see you are angry and agitated, just not sure why I was singled out. Because I said it’s hard to run multi-billion pound corporations? Cheers mate.
I am not particularly angry but saying it's hard to run a multi-million pound/dollar business as a reason why we're run so badly is helping the Glazers' narrative. It's just a weak point to make, in my opinion.

The patronising tone, which sounds exactly how I'd expect the Glazers to talk in private, doesn't help.

I think many people don't like MUST as they feel they were too passive during the initial takeover and have sought to co-exist with the Glazers rather than remove them.

You know the Caf though. People post things without really explaining themselves and most of the time its negative.
Surely, if MUST become the fan representatives, there would be mechanisms to change the leadership, similar to Barcelona and their elections?

I think MUST have been too passive in the past but at least they're trying now. Might be too late but at least they're trying.
 

Random Task

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I think many people don't like MUST as they feel they were too passive during the initial takeover and have sought to co-exist with the Glazers rather than remove them.

You know the Caf though. People post things without really explaining themselves and most of the time its negative.
Fair enough.
 

TheReligion

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I am not particularly angry but saying it's hard to run a multi-million pound/dollar business as a reason why we're run so badly is helping the Glazers' narrative. It's just a weak point to make, in my opinion.

The patronising tone, which sounds exactly how I'd expect the Glazers to talk in private, doesn't help.


Surely, if MUST become the fan representatives, there would be mechanisms to change the leadership, similar to Barcelona and their elections?

I think MUST have been too passive in the past but at least they're trying now. Might be too late but at least they're trying.
I don't disagree but you have some posters here saying they'd rather support city than allow MUST to have anything to do with the running of the club.
 

Maticmaker

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Surely, if MUST become the fan representatives, there would be mechanisms to change the leadership, similar to Barcelona and their elections?
Yes, just how has that happened, last time I made an enquiry on here I was told MUST is only one of 11 representatives in/on the Fans Forum?
How come they (MUST) are now reportedly entering into talks with the Glazers about fan share ownership, is this on behalf of MUST members only, or for all fans and who or how were they promoted over the other ten representatives on the Forum to undertake these discussions?

I have no particular 'gripe' about MUST, (as I believe other Caf contributors do) but were their original founding members not at least part of the previous shareholders, who either sold out to the Glazers, or were themselves forced out? Either way if it is the case then it sounds like we could be heading for a 'rinse and repeat' cycle?

I also agree there needs to be an overhaul of how fan representatives are elected.
 

Rood

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Yes, just how has that happened, last time I made an enquiry on here I was told MUST is only one of 11 representatives in/on the Fans Forum?
How come they (MUST) are now reportedly entering into talks with the Glazers about fan share ownership, is this on behalf of MUST members only, or for all fans and who or how were they promoted over the other ten representatives on the Forum to undertake these discussions?

I have no particular 'gripe' about MUST, (as I believe other Caf contributors do) but were their original founding members not at least part of the previous shareholders, who either sold out to the Glazers, or were themselves forced out? Either way if it is the case then it sounds like we could be heading for a 'rinse and repeat' cycle?

I also agree there needs to be an overhaul of how fan representatives are elected.
MUST were previously Shareholders United and have campaigned to have the opportunity for the fans to buy shares for several years - they are the best placed to work with the Glazers to make that happen.
Most other members of the Fans Forum have their own specific groups to represent and arent necessarily that interested in the share ownership side of things.

Man Utd is a listed company in the US already, so in fact anyone can buy shares but they have limited voting rights so there has been limited interest over the years - the share price is actually pretty low at the moment so perhaps it is in the Glazers interests to try and get some demand from fans to buy shares
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/Man...WoQV41j9qRpZ_gISXTmj8gJB36nvfLzJ-co0Fxoma0XZD
 

Sky1981

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You lot. You're asking 24/7 for Glazers to sell. Now they're selling. You're not buying.

Walk the talk.

Invest your savings. Don't take dividends ever. Dont ever sell the share back for profits. Inject your own cash for the club you love.

/run for cover
 

Tincanalley

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I think many people don't like MUST as they feel they were too passive during the initial takeover and have sought to co-exist with the Glazers rather than remove them.

You know the Caf though. People post things without really explaining themselves and most of the time its negative.
100%. Let’s stop sniping and talk about the substance. The owners moved.. MUST deserve support; the Caf is a wilderness of ignorance, but this place never ceases to surprise me. It has lots of passion and intelligence in unexpected corners.
 
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100%. Let’s stop sniping and talk about the substance. The owners moved.. MUST deserve support; the Caf is a wilderness of ignorance, but this place never ceases to surprise me. It has lots of passion and intelligence in unexpected corners.
United fans want Glazer out. Seeing them thrown a few crumbs to passify the fans is rightly not going to wash with most fans.

I have no strong feels about MUST, they mean well but don't speak of the majority of the fambase.
 

RUCK4444

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You lot. You're asking 24/7 for Glazers to sell. Now they're selling. You're not buying.

Walk the talk.

Invest your savings. Don't take dividends ever. Dont ever sell the share back for profits. Inject your own cash for the club you love.

/run for cover
This.
 

Maticmaker

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Most other members of the Fans Forum have their own specific groups to represent and arent necessarily that interested in the share ownership side of things.
Thanks for the explanation... so MUST is a pressure group within the Fan's Forum, but what about those in other groups who are interested in the share ownership side, is the logic therefore they should now join MUST?
 

Rood

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United fans want Glazer out. Seeing them thrown a few crumbs to passify the fans is rightly not going to wash with most fans.

I have no strong feels about MUST, they mean well but don't speak of the majority of the fambase.
Wanting 'Glazer Out' sounds great but is actually meaningless without any realistic option to replace them - slowly getting them to sell down their shares is probably the best option. Many dont realise that they have already sold around 25% of the club in recent years so its not a huge stretch from here to get that below 50%

There isnt anyone who speaks for the majority of the fanbase because our fanbase is so vast with so many different opinions


Thanks for the explanation... so MUST is a pressure group within the Fan's Forum, but what about those in other groups who are interested in the share ownership side, is the logic therefore they should now join MUST?
Yes basically - what you need to understand is that most of the other groups on the Fans Forum are primarily interested in issues around matchgoing (stadium improvements, atmosphere, ticketing etc). Its only really MUST who focus on things like ownership, shares etc but at last month's Fan Forum following he ESL fall out, 9 of 11 members signed a joint letter with MUST showing they back their general proposals

I understand that the Fans Forum will be expanded next season - no details yet on how exactly
 

Maticmaker

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Wanting 'Glazer Out' sounds great but is actually meaningless without any realistic option to replace them - slowly getting them to sell down their shares is probably the best option. Many dont realise that they have already sold around 25% of the club in recent years so its not a huge stretch from here to get that below 50%

There isnt anyone who speaks for the majority of the fanbase because our fanbase is so vast with so many different opinions




Yes basically - what you need to understand is that most of the other groups on the Fans Forum are primarily interested in issues around matchgoing (stadium improvements, atmosphere, ticketing etc). Its only really MUST who focus on things like ownership, shares etc but at last month's Fan Forum following he ESL fall out, 9 of 11 members signed a joint letter with MUST showing they back their general proposals

I understand that the Fans Forum will be expanded next season - no details yet on how exactly
Thanks again....Sounds like a MUST 'leveraged buyout' of the fans forum' :lol:
 

HackeyC

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Frankly I'd want a 5% perpetual dividend yield from most investments. I may be swayed to take a little less from United, maybe 3%, but that would equate to c. £100m of dividend payments per year in place of interest charges. It is illogical to expect any owner accept less than an above inflation return on their investment. We can get into the semantics of a football club not being an investment, but if the players get paid ludicrously for playing then at the very least the owner should be compensated for accepting all the financial risks that come with ownership.

Their are financial implications that come with relinquishing a controlling interest so i don't see them arbitrarily falling below 50% to 40% then 30% etc.. as realistic. Realistically they will go from 75% to 50.1% to zero if they ever want a way out.
 

ravelston

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Frankly I'd want a 5% perpetual dividend yield from most investments. I may be swayed to take a little less from United, maybe 3%, but that would equate to c. £100m of dividend payments per year in place of interest charges. It is illogical to expect any owner accept less than an above inflation return on their investment. We can get into the semantics of a football club not being an investment, but if the players get paid ludicrously for playing then at the very least the owner should be compensated for accepting all the financial risks that come with ownership.

Their are financial implications that come with relinquishing a controlling interest so i don't see them arbitrarily falling below 50% to 40% then 30% etc.. as realistic. Realistically they will go from 75% to 50.1% to zero if they ever want a way out.
When the old plc went public, they set the first year dividend at about 4.5% of the issue price. Coincidentally that's roughly the same rate of return that the Glazers are getting on their total equity investment (52O million). For an investor buying stock in the new plc the return would be less than 1% - as you say, not an attractive investment unless you have another motivation for buying.
 

Rood

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I wonder how much these “new class shares” would cost
Ye that is the big question, id assume they would be more expensive than the shares without full voting rights that are currently listed in US

There was an open letter from the fabled 'Red Knights' demanding full voting shares at $14 (the original float price in 2012), this is never going to happen though
 

Green_Red

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When are we likely to see this scheme come into existence? I'm not putting another penny into the club until I see meaningful change. I think the supporters protest has gone too quiet.
 

Red_toad

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When are we likely to see this scheme come into existence? I'm not putting another penny into the club until I see meaningful change. I think the supporters protest has gone too quiet.
Do you want people to protest outside old Trafford when there’s no football being played? What are you doing for your part if you’re complaining?
 

Ali Dia

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Email received from MUST today

Hello
We’re writing again to keep you updated on where we are with the campaign to bring football back to the fans, and ultimately to transform how our club is owned and run. The end of the football season has seen no let-up in activity at all for MUST. In fact the very opposite - we are busier than ever, so we wanted to keep you posted on everything.
We’re writing again to keep you updated on where we are with the campaign to bring football back to the fans, and ultimately to transform how our club is owned and run. The end of the football season has seen no let-up in activity at all for MUST. In fact the very opposite - we are busier than ever, so we wanted to keep you posted on everything.
Key takeaways in this email:
  • Glazers' concessions on MUST Fan Share Scheme proposals and Fans' Advisory Board is a start but we need to see movement and/or clarification on initial proposals on both.
  • We’ve made a presentation to the Government Fan-Led Review and asked them to require owners give fans a "Right to Buy" shares; as well as create a “Golden Share” which gives fans a veto over key issues and to impose stronger financial and corporate controls on football club owners.
  • To show the number of fans who might buy shares and persuade the club to make the Fan Share Scheme meaningful in scale, we’re about to launch the “Sign for United” campaign which will allow you to declare your intent and demonstrate the collective demand for such a scheme. It will of course serve as the initial registration for any such Fan Share Scheme too should it proceed.
  • We’ve made clear that we expect real, meaningful progress before the first home game of next season - otherwise we expect protests to continue.
1. The Fans Forum meeting & the Glazers
2. The Fan Share Scheme
3. The Government’s “Fan-Led Review”
4. Sign for United campaign set to launch Friday 25th June
5. Staying United
1. The Fans Forum meeting & the Glazers
As you know, on June 4th Joel Glazer attended the Fans Forum meeting. It was the first time in their sixteen year ownership of the club that any member of the family had had any discussion with fans' groups whatsoever, and those present made very clear how they felt about that.

In terms of the substantive discussion, to be honest it was a mix. There was no commitment from them to pay off the debt that they loaded onto the club and it is clear they intend to continue paying shareholders (with the family holding ~85%) dividends. Few United fans will either forgive or forget those abuses of our club, nor the complete lack of engagement for 15 years until forced to come out to apologise for their latest attempt to leverage more money from the now discredited Super League franchise. But that contrition has led them to make some concessions on fan engagement and supporter share ownership that they had previously stonewalled us on. Whatever the trigger, on the face of it they are significant concessions so worth further discussion with the club to establish what they would mean in practice. Through the survey that we undertook with our Full Members recently, there was an overwhelming mandate to engage to at least explore these proposals further. We will report back on the outcome of those discussions and then consult members and wider support further.
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2. The Fan Share Scheme
Creating a meaningful collective fan ownership stake in United is what MUST has always existed to achieve and we have been putting that argument to the club ever since dialogue was re-established in 2013. The reason we didn’t just restart our own independent share scheme following the club being relisted on the NYSE in 2012 was the super-voting rights (10 votes per share) of the Glazer Family's B shares compared with the 1 vote per share of the publicly available A shares. When it looked like we were finally making some progress in discussions on a Fan Share Scheme at the end of 2020 those discussions hit a stalemate once again on the voting rights. We do recognise that the scale of the challenge is such that we need to engage the global fan base in this, and that this will need to happen in multiple stages with the first one aiming for a huge (7 figure) fan shareholder base with at least one share each, and then building on that platform in secondary phase. So there were 2 elements we identified as key for an initial Fan Share Scheme and these were:
1. A new class of "Fan Shares" with the same voting rights as the Glazer Family's super-voting 'B' shares
2. New issue shares so when fans buy them the funds go to the club not the Glazers or any other shareholder
There will be other issues which need to be addressed too - not least the clause giving the B shares a 67% majority on special resolutions even if they hold as few as 10% of the B shares.

Of course we would not object to such a scheme purchasing the Glazers’ shares directly in future if that was backed by supporters and part of a change in ownership and it is our goal to get to the point where that is feasible. That clearly means we’d need to mobilise the global fan base to participate in fan share ownership if we are able to act collectively on the scale required to be meaningful. We don’t underestimate that challenge and nor do we rule out other solutions but as fans we can only deal with what is in our control. Furthermore whatever happens with ownership in the future it is obvious that if we want fans to have a powerful collective voice the only way to guarantee that is to have a major collective shareholding through mass fan participation so pursuing that goal makes sense regardless.

There was always going to be much scrutiny of the words that came from Joel Glazer on the questions around Fan Share Scheme and these were the words that stood out for us: “a new class of shares which will each carry the same voting rights as the shares owned by the Glazer family. This would establish a foundation for supporters to build a meaningful ownership stake” and “the largest fan ownership group in world sport”

So the fact that these key elements, which were a sticking point in the past, now appear to have been conceded is not insignificant but we are in no doubt this is in response to the backlash following the European Super League debacle and most importantly the threat of Government intervention backed up by the current Fan-Led Review.

Of course having been involved in this battle for Fan Share Ownership for 23 years, going back to the Murdoch attempted takeover 1998, there is no-one more sceptical than us about the intentions, or the actual reality that will be delivered, until we can see it with our own eyes. Talk is cheap and we need to see what will actually be delivered before we come back to members to consult further. For now, we need to ensure maximum pressure to deliver what has been promised which is why we’re launching the Sign For United campaign shortly (see below) to bring the influence of potential Manchester United fan shareholders drawn from the entire global fanbase.

We await further information and will keep members updated as soon as we can and we expect further consultation and a final Full Members' ballot to vote For or Against proposals. We have made clear to the club that we expect to see real progress before the start of next season, and if there isn’t they should expect to see a fresh wave of protests before the first home game, which we now know is against Leeds.
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3. The Government’s “Fan-Led Review”
One of the reasons the Glazers have suddenly come forward with these offers to us is that the government has embarked on a “Fan-Led Review” of football. The owners of the big 6 clubs are undoubtedly rightly concerned that this Review will reduce their ability to make money from our clubs and are now racing to do a whole load of things they ought to have been doing anyway.

We were invited to present evidence to the Review Panel earlier this week and set out our big asks on fan share schemes, ’golden share’ powers to veto important decisions, the appointment of supporter directors, structured supporter engagement, financial and other business controls on owners and an independent regulator for football to mandate and oversee these changes. We will say more about these proposals and the review itself shortly.
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4. “Sign for United” campaign set to launch Friday 25th June
In order to get the Glazers over the line with the share scheme idea, it is essential we show them – and the rest of the world – that there is a large number of United fans who are willing to purchase shares in the club if the deal is fair. Details still need much clarification but initial financial investment need not be large for a single share. However at this stage we are just asking fans to show they want to see a meaningful Fan Share Scheme offered as the first step on a journey towards a new ownership.

We know lots of our members owned shares before the Glazers compulsorily purchased them off us, and independent surveys suggest millions of fans globally would like to own shares - as long as those shares come with the same rights and power that Glazer-owned shares do. In order to demonstrate just how many people from our global fanbase would buy shares we will soon be launching a new campaign, “Sign for United” which invites everyone to express an interest in a share purchase. We’re not asking for a financial commitment at this stage but we do need to demonstrate that there are vast numbers of fans who want to “Sign for United” and own at least one share in their club as a first step.
The campaign is set to launch next Friday 25th June and we have some pretty cool plans for the big reveal. Please follow our brand new Twitter and Instagram accounts now.
Twitter: @SignForUnited
Instagram: @SignForUnited
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5. Staying United
The renaissance in our campaign to change United to give fans a bigger say has been the one big positive that has come out of the disgraceful Super League plans that the ‘big 6’ clubs came out with in April. Fans have united at a whole host of clubs and we faced down the Super League and are now seeking to build on that momentum to achieve a much bigger change in our clubs and our game.

But we are only successful when we are united. A divided fans' voice is a weak fans voice and we need to stick together on this.

There will always be critics saying we should be more using different tactics (usually the exact ones we've tried year after year sice 2005) and shouldn’t even be engaging with the club in any way but based on our recent survey of Members we are confident that the majority back our balanced approach. We will be consulting wider to confirm this though and will continue to do so.

To be clear this isn't about trust it is about what is in the best interests of our club and our fans. It would be criminal not to explore what has the potential to be the biggest opportunity we've ever had to fundamentally change the club and give fans a voice we have never had before. With your support, we are going to pursue that. And if we remain united, we can get there.

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M.U.S.T - the Manchester United Supporters' Trust​
 

SAF is the GOAT

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I would love to support this cause but we all know that the Glazers will only spend our money and take dividends from our money, not using a penny from theirs.
 

decorativeed

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I would love to support this cause but we all know that the Glazers will only spend our money and take dividends from our money, not using a penny from theirs.
Fairly sure that you can only take dividends from your own shares. Taking someone else's dividends is theft.
 

Rood

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Guys you can sign up multiple times without even needing to verify your identity. Come and help me increase the number with fake email addresses. Just don't use hairytesticles@gmail.com or smellmyfinger@gmail.com because I already signed them up :)
What's the point in that exactly ?!

Anyway good to see a lot of interest in this scheme, even if some of it is fake !
But obviously we need to wait for the details to see if it's worth it
 

Ali Dia

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This landed in my email today.

THE FAN-LED REVIEW - WE NEED YOUR HELP PERSUADING GOVERNMENT OF THE NEED TO REFORM FOOTBALL

If you've not done it already this is your last chance to influence the review's recommendations to the Government by completing the short survey linked below. If you've done it please get at least one other to do it too.

Clearly we want the review to recommend that fans should have the right to buy shares in their clubs and that there is a major need for strong regulation and supporters trusts like MUST should play a central role.

This is the link to the survey:
https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5naM6vGayWbBJLE

The government’s Fan-Led Review of Football Governance will be concluding shortly and this is the chance for individual fans to have their say. The more fans we can get to support our demands the better chance we have of the Review making strong recommendations to the Government.

Last week MUST sent in our submission that built on our previous oral hearing. In that submission we made a detailed case for the right of fans to invest in their club by buying shares, and set out a progressive route to supporter ownership. We also supported the need for fans to hold a ‘golden share’ right of veto in issues that affect the future of their club, stronger business and financial controls on owners, the appointment of both supporter and independent directors to the controlling boards of football clubs, and strengthened supporter engagement including a Supporters Advisory Board. We also supported an independent regulator to ensure that these changes are delivered, monitored and enforced.

Before reaching its conclusions the Review is now asking to hear directly from supporters through a short (10 min) survey. Please take the time to complete this and add your voice in support of the changes that we want to see. You can access the survey through this link:
https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5naM6vGayWbBJLE




M.U.S.T - the Manchester United Supporters' Trust
www.imust.org.uk
0161 872 3300​