MUST: No positive future with Glazers
ANGRY Manchester United fans have condemned the "ticking time bomb" waiting to go off at Old Trafford. Five years after massive protests at Malcolm Glazer's controversial takeover, the same supporters who opposed the American's buyout are mobilising themselves once more. On this occasion, the trigger has been the prospectus issued this week for the £500million bond that has been launched in an effort to reduce a massive interest bill that would have resulted in more enormous losses this year had it not been for the world record £80million transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. Within the prospectus is an admission that United's training ground at Carrington and their iconic stadium could be sold and leased back to the club in the event of problems paying back the bond. An admission the Glazer family have also taken £22.9million out in management fees and loans has also alarmed fans, who now realise their owners will look to reduce onerous interest on Pik notes which the family are responsible for, by taking extra cash out of United. The news has cast a pall over the club this week. And the supporters who opposed Glazer's involvement from the start are ready to start fighting once more. "The difference now, compared to last week, or two weeks, or two years ago, is that the figures have been put down in black and white," said Duncan Drasdo, chairman of the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST). "Everyone can see it. The reality is confronting people. "The longer the Glazers are in ownership, the more damage it does to the club. "There is no positive future with them. Playing staff "When you look at the fact we did not replace Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez last summer and Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Edwin van der Sar are all coming to the end of their careers, this really is a ticking time bomb. We need to act." While Saturday's meeting, held in the shadow of Old Trafford in nearby Stretford, is nothing more than a call to arms, it did allow supporters a chance to vent their frustrations. Long-time United fan and local MP Tony Lloyd was not in attendance but intends to raise the matter in Parliament, given Liverpool and Portsmouth are suffering their own financial woes. As the Glazers were given an official seal of approval by former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, it is difficult to see what Lloyd can do. Indeed, such is the family's control, fans would appear to be powerless. Although Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the Glazers have always been supportive owners and the vast majority of the Ronaldo money remains unspent purely because he does not see any value in the market, others take an alternative view. MUST are convinced the Glazers want to sell United. But they believe the hugely leveraged way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers owners completed their £790million takeover makes the price they are looking for prohibitive. "I believe they want to sell. I don't believe the buyer is out there at the price that is being demanded," said Drasdo. "We have to explore some ideas about what action to take to accelerate an ownership change at Manchester United." Drasdo dismisses the notion that direct action, refusing to buy merchandise and renew season tickets, would have a negative effect on the team because that is one aspect of the club that cannot afford to dissolve. "The Glazers already take out as much money as they can get away with. What remains cannot change," he said. "If it did then the team wouldn't perform, which in turn affects the finances. "If you drop out of the top four, the revenue drops, you spend even less and you end up on a downward spiral. That has always been the danger." What do you think? Have your say.
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