Triesman: Fan run clubs can work
Football Association chairman Lord Triesman believes the Red Knights' takeover campaign is a sign of their concern for Manchester United and insists that a fan-run club could work in England. Triesman does not question the Glazer family's ability to deal with the financial situation at United but insists fans should not be viewed as mere customers. And asked whether fan-owned clubs such as Barcelona could work in England, Triesman insisted they can. Triesman said: "There are some good fan-run clubs and there have been in England too - there have been some clubs in difficulties where the fans have been the decisive factor such as York City and Bournemouth. "Broadly speaking we are organised around companies and company law and I think that is a reality of our circumstance. "But I don't think that fact alters the way in which fans look at their club and the way it is treasured in a way that not all that many social institutions are." Triesman said supporters have a right to be concerned about their club's ownership and act accordingly. He said: "All fans are concerned about the well-being of their clubs. "I am really not saying Manchester United cannot deal with its overall financial arrangements but of course fans do take a view about whether their club is all right. "I know perfectly well when I thought Robert Maxwell was going to take over Tottenham I was deeply concerned. I'm not making that point frivolously, people love their clubs and certainly want them to be in good shape. "If they have been very successful they want them to continue to be very successful so they are interested in where the funds are. "As it happens I think United are a huge business capable of generating very, very big resources. "It would be disappointing in any club if fans were not interested in the whole thing." Triesman did warn however that fans had a special relationship with clubs that must be respected by owners. He added: "Being a fan is a mixture of all sorts of things. It's not a customer going into a shop. "You want success on the pitch, there are deep cultural things involved, and most of time you support the club your dad supported. "There's inevitably a sense of community even if a club is a great international brand as well. "It's a huge mixture of things that fuel the emotion of football. "My expectation always is that fans will be interested in the lot." What do you make of Triesman's comments? Have your say.
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