Green and gold United protest gathers momentum
THE Old Trafford green and gold protest is gathering pace and a new batch of the scarves worn by the anti-Glazer movement is being shipped in for the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against City on Wednesday. The initial 500 consignment of the scarves were snapped up and sold out for the Hull match as supporters visually and vocally expressed their disapproval of the club's American owners. United's support agreed in principal with Sir Alex Ferguson's call for loyalty, but believe his words in his match programme notes indicated for the first time publicly that the manager recognises that all is not well. Though Fergie implored the fans not to let their unhappiness with the financial situation the Glazer's have dumped on the club to be "divisive", they refused to let the platform for a vocal and visual demo against the Glazers to pass. There were constant anti-Glazer chants during Saturday's 4-0 win against Hull. And even though a semi-final second leg success against City is paramount, the protestors won't be silenced on Wednesday. A further delivery of 1000 green and gold scarves - which have become the symbol of the anti-Glazer protest and based on the colours of United's predecessors Newton Heath - will be on sale before the derby. "We are not forcing the pace with the green and gold protest it is going to happen naturally," says Duncan Drasdo chief executive of MUST (Manchester United Supporters Trust). "The symbol has a power that has excited people and the momentum is happening without any need to force it. "The transparency of the bond issue document has angered fans and those previously who were in the wait-and-see camp can now see exactly what's happening. Fans' mood "People didn't always believe you before when you explained the financial situation but that document has changed that. It was a turning point. "It's not just the fans either, I have a feeling there is a different mood running through the whole club now." Ferguson called for unity in his programme notes. "The family of Manchester United is under pressure as a result of all the issues and controversies surrounding the ownership and financial situation of our club," he wrote. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to express their disapproval if they don't like what they see around them, just as it has always been the right of fans to let it be known if they are not happy with the way their team is playing. "Some of our fans are clearly unhappy with the financial position but we mustn't allow the situation to become divisive. 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 all think carefully about what we are doing. "We must remain loyal to the cause of Manchester United. 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's simply a plea to stand together." CEO Drasdo said, "It is very important to be loyal and the fans have always been loyal to Fergie and the players. "He talks about the Manchester United family and he's right all strands of the family must come together to accelerate the change of ownership because we certainly don't see the Glazers as part of the United family. "I thought Fergie's words smacked of a conciliatory gesture to the supporters and that he understood our concerns. He has not defended the Glazers in his notes!" Drasdo launched Reds in Business last September to build relationships between businesses owned or operated by United supporters. The group now has 2500 members and there are many wealthy businessmen among their number. The bond document has sparked off fresh interest in a possible takeover among prosperous United fans. "People are doing the sums. They want to know what the options are," says Drasdo. "The conversations are happening in the United business community." What do you think? Have your say.
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