Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) ceo Duncan Drasdo says that the pressure is now on the Glazer family after an emotional night at Old Trafford culminated in David Beckham donning the colours of protest . It comes as the Red Knights appointed Nomura bank to draw together disparate factions and crystallise a bid for the club.
Drasdo, who has led membership of MUST past 125,000, says that Nomura’s appointment will bring together groups, including the Red Knights and the fans, to formalise an attempted takeover in the coming weeks.
“I think the important thing is that the Glazers are business people and they see it as a business. We see it as a football club,” said Drasdo, who along with the Red Knights will need to find more than £1 billion to fund a bid.
“There’s huge pressure on them [the Glazers] now, obviously emotionally but also in terms of revenues.”
Commenting on Nomura’s appointment as bid advisors, Drasdo said that the Japanese investment bank will play an important role. The Nomura team, led by Guy Dawson the United board advisor prior to the Glazers’ 2005 takeover, will bring together more than 60 high net worth individuals who have reportedly pledge money towards the bid.
“It [Nomura’s appointment] is hugely significant because it’ll start to crystallise the offer,” added Drasdo.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest from the so-called Red Knights and Nomura’s job is to organise it. It’s really important to understand that it’s not just about the Red Knights, the supporters are really important.
“128,000 of them have signed up and its about the Red Knights giving the fans opportunity to own part of the club. The fans have to grasp that opportunity and become involved.”
As United cantered past AC Milan and into the Champions League quarter-finals last night, perhaps the most significant moment came when Beckham picked up the green and gold scarf as he left the pitch. The former Untied winger, whose populist touch remains undiluted even if his performances have tailed off with age, left the anti-Glazer campaign with an image that will spread globally.
Although Beckham later said that the club’s ownership was “nothing to do with him” there is little doubt about the player’s moment of solidarity with United supporters.
“I thought it was fantastic and an iconic moment,” Drasdo said of Beckham’s gesture.
“When he picked up the scarf a huge roar went up and there was a wave of excitement going around the place.
“Green and gold is having a really big impact – on the media, on sponsors and on the fans. It’s a fantastic idea and it’s really taken off.”
In an emotional night for the player, who left United for Real Madrid in 2003, Beckham played 27 minutes and forced a save from Edwin van der Sar in the home net after a stinging volley.
With a tear in the eye Beckham entered the field to huge cheers. He left it a bigger hero than ever.