The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) membership broke through the 85,000 barrier today as thousands of fans joined the anti-Glazer rapidly growing anti-Glazer protest. The tsunami-like revolution will bring down the hated Glazer regime at United, according to leading Red Knight, Seymour Pierce banker Keith Harris.
MUST, whose membership stood a little over 50,000 on Tuesday morning, is charged by the Red Knights with generating 100,000 members to back a takeover bid. At the current rate of growth the organisation will pass 100,000 members some time on Wednesday. There are more than 300 million United fans worldwide.
Meanwhile, Harris says the revolution mirrors that in East Germany during the 1980s when ordinary people forced down an oppressive regime.
“Twenty odd years ago in Eastern Europe there was something which triggered the revolution when someone said ‘now is the time to take down the Berlin Wall’,” said Harris, who brokered takeovers for Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle United in recent seasons.
“You sense, although I don’t want to draw parallels for obvious reasons, that the momentum is gathering and that these fans truly mean it.
“The fans have the power to vote with their feet. We saw that 10 years ago with Barcelona where the fans said this president is causing this club to come to the brink. They voted with their feet and it caused a change. So these fans do have that power.”
The Red Knights, a collective of nine wealthy United-supporting businessmen intend to raise more than £1 billion in order to make a bid for the club. Industry analysts believe that it will take a bid of £1.2 – 1.6 billion to force the Glazer family out of United for good. In addition to Harris the group includes Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neil and equity trader Paul Marshall of Marshall Wace fame.
“The fans are saying enough is enough. This protest is really taking off,” Harris added.
“People are reviled by what they have read about the purpose of this bond issue and the behaviour and attitude of the owners. This is truly nothing other than an attempt by them to raise money for their own purposes.
“They are not investing in a sporting organisation, which is at the top of the world tree, they are investing in something to try and get money out for their own purposes.
“You’ve got to think that their businesses in America haven’t done well. They can’t have done and the world generally hasn’t done well, and they are probably highly geared in their business activities in America.
“So if this is an opportunity for them to take the money and go, I would hope they would listen carefully to this, provided the money can be raised and I’m very confident that it can be.”
United supporters can join MUST for free at www.joinmust.org.