The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) will fans to contribute a symbolic £25 towards a summer bid for the club, emails to members revealed today. MUST ceo Duncan Drasdo sent the annual survey, which also asked season ticket holders if they are considering not renewing this summer, to 145,000 members.
“Thanks to the passion and leadership of people like you, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust is now over 145,000 members strong,” said Drasdo’s email today.
“But in truth this campaign has never been about numbers alone – it’s been about putting us in a place where we can have all our voices heard and make a real difference.”
That difference is financial, with the Glazer family apparently unmoved by the sea of green and gold at Old Trafford on matchdays this year. While the well orchestrated protest has forced the family to reconsider a planned season ticket price increase, only an acceptable bid will drive the Glazers out of the club.
“As Season Ticket holders, we are the most powerful members of this campaign. The Glazers rely on our financial commitment to the club. We are the lifeblood of United,” continued Drasdo.
“For too long, we’ve acted merely as individuals, leaving us with no choice but to accept whatever conditions have been imposed upon us, but if we act collectively we can have much greater power.
“That’s why we need every Season Ticket holder to tell us what they intend to do at renewal time. We will share that information with you so we can all make the best decisions about how best we can utilize that collective power.”
That may include a call for a collective boycott of season ticket renewals as MUST and the Red Knights attempt to force the Glazers’ hand this summer.
In recent weeks the club has embarked on a high-profile campaign to recruit fans to a “season ticket waiting list” that has not previously existed under the Glazer regime. Indeed, while no official boycott has taken place at Old Trafford other than those fans who formed FC United of Manchester five years ago, many thousands of season ticket holders have not renewed during that time.
Meanwhile, the Knights conceded today that a bid is not forthcoming before the season’s end, with the group of around 60 wealthy people formulating a strategy under Japanese investment bank Nomura’s guidance.
“In the next few weeks we will continue to work on our proposal,” a spokesperson for the Knights said today.
“We do not expect this to be finnalised before the end of the season. This will have the advantage of minimizing disruption during a crucial phase of the season.”
In a separate email to non-season ticket holding members, MUST asks if fans are prepared to invest money in a potential bid. This investment is unlikely to swing the bid in the Knights’ favour but will stand as a symbol of supporters’ desire for new ownership at the club.
The opening bid is expected in the time between the Champions League final on 22 May and the start of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa on 11 June.