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Gill describes protesters as 'visible minority'
Published : 28 May 2010 09:18:56
Manchester United chief executive David Gill believes the 'green and gold' movement at Old Trafford will fade away and labelled it a "visible minority" which would "go away".
The fans' group against the Glazer family's ownership of the club gained momentum last season with an increasing number of supporters wearing the green and gold scarves at United matches, representing the club's early incarnation as Newton Heath, but Gill believes that many of the supporters do not fully understand the meaning of the protest.
"The green and gold campaign and the momentum behind that can get a bit tiring," Gill told The Independent. "We understand people's desire to protest and I think it is a minority. It's a visible minority in the stadium. I think that (green and gold) minority will go away. A lot of people understand what it means but a lot of them don't."
He added: "Would we prefer not to have them [green and gold scarves]? Yes. They have a right to protest. A lot of the fans clearly care about the club and that is a strength.
"But a lot of the other fans want to know that the team is playing attractive football, exciting Manchester United-style football, winning football. Who owns it is a bit irrelevant to them."
The 52-year-old also denied assertions that the debts the Glazers have saddled on United - reported to be around Â£500million - are inhibiting the club's progress, and claimed quarterly figures due to be released on Friday will show the club has the money to fulfil boss Sir Alex Ferguson's summer spending.
Regarding the financial plight of the club, Gill added: "I firmly believe that the financing we have in place and the growth we have seen in our commercial operations, even with the [annual] interest of Â£45million, we can sustain that and still be a top, top club.
"We can invest in the players, invest in the training ground - we have plans for that - invest in the stadium and do those things.
"The money is definitely there. The results for the quarter ending March 31 will show the figures are about Â£95million cash.
"We are not in a situation where Alex is restricted in what he wants to do with the club."