Ferguson calls for Reds unity
SIR Alex Ferguson has called for unity on and off the pitch amid all the controversy over Manchester United's massive debts. Although a successful £500million bond issue appears to have removed any imminent threat to the club, supporters are now aware United's overall debt has topped the £700million mark. In addition, as part of the prospectus issued with the bond, it was revealed that options to raise cash include the sale of United's Carrington training base and their Old Trafford ground. That has been enough to mobilise the anti-Glazer faction within the United support. After a well-attended meeting last week, at which one fan called for Ferguson to resign, supporters inside Old Trafford for the win over Burnley chanted "We want the Glazers out". Now, a green and gold 'Love United Hate Glazer" campaign has been launched ahead of the Premier League encounter with Hull. But, acutely aware of the divisive effect supporter unrest can have on the players, Ferguson is urging fans to stick with the team. "The family of Manchester United is under pressure as a result of all the issues surrounding the ownership and financial situation of our club," Ferguson said in the official match programme, United Review. "Some of our fans are clearly unhappy with our financial position, but we mustn't allow the situation to become divisive. United danger "The danger is that we could be presented as being split, which would be harmful and inaccurate, because I believe the vast majority of United fans are behind us and appreciate the importance of standing together in support of the team. "I could see our opponents rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of watching us fall out among ourselves if we don't think carefully about what we are doing. "We must not lose our focus - which is about building a strong football team that will win trophies. That is what we are about, or at least it should be." Ferguson felt the rallying call needed to be issued now, knowing the campaign as a whole is about to enter its critical phase, including the decisive Carling Cup semi-final second-leg with Manchester City at Old Trafford on Wednesday. "We must remain loyal to the cause of Manchester United," he continued. "The staff and players should be quite one-eyed about that and stay true to the history of the club and all the work done by Sir Matt Busby and the other managers who have contributed to creating the great club we have at Old Trafford today. "This is not about stifling criticism. It is simply a plea to stand together rather than take action that will damage ourselves more than anyone else. "Manchester United is bigger than me, the players, the directors, the officials and fans. And, particularly at this critical stage of the season, we need to pull in the same direction. "It would be a shame to lose our concentration now because I can really see light at the end of the tunnel as we ready ourselves to push for the championship." What do you think? Have your say.
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