The heavy reportage of United’s financial quagmire this week has been gut wrenching. Perhaps the worst thing is that little of it comes as a surprise. Americans talk about “always remembering where they were when JFK was shot”. For me it was the sale of United. Not for a second did I believe it could happen and I was speechless for hours afterwards. Oddly, it coincided with the time I finished Uni and nobody could understand why I wasn't in a better mood.
The sum of all our fears has now been published in black and white and is slightly uglier than at first envisaged. It is slightly ironic that the Glazers look like a group of well-dressed Mythbusters because there is still uncertainty about what there plan was in the first place.
Certainly, the worst thing about the takeover is that it has divided the support. Despite Fergie’s aggressive attitude towards FC United I have nothing against them and wish the club well. I am aware that a lot of fans are vehemently against the manager’s stance on the owners. A section of the support even hold him fully responsible for the whole mess as a result of his face off over the Rock of Gibralter’s sperm.
Personally, I couldn’t give an ess ache one tee about who is to blame. I am only interested in viable solutions for saving our football club. Because that is what is at stake here – The future of Manchester United.
Regular readers will know about my match going buddies the Crinkleys, one of whom has over forty years experience working in the city and has been the through the latest disclosure in detail. This is his take:
“All the noise in the world cannot force a private company to do something it does not want to do. The Glazers won't float the company unless they can be guaranteed their £1bn+ and that's a big ask of the markets in the current environment. No, they will only sell to the mega-rich oligarch/crook [who is yet to appear]”.
We’re definitely more boned than the Natural History Museum then. So what can we do as fans?
Since the takeover many of us have vowed not to give a single penny to the Glazers. In my case, other than matchday tickets and club membership, I haven’t given them a dime. Our household proudly boasts a collection of match programs dating back to 1951, but it stopped the day the Glazers come to town. This has been proven completely correct now we know about their £20 million pocket money bonus, Carlos Tevez anybody? But I still attend matches, because I will always, always support the guys wearing the shirts.
Boycotts have been mentioned as a tangible form of supporter action that would send a powerful message. In reality, fan boycotts and the like often just make things worse in that they bring the day of financial catastrophe even closer. But maybe we will have to do just that. SAF won't like it because he will have even less money to buy new players, so we can't count on his support. Of course, they may not even work with the number of international fans we have coming in on day trips.
So do we the fans offer to buy the club? It'll cost at least £1bn and even
divided by one million that's still £1000 each. Who's going to do that? And, if 'only' 100,000 Mancs step up then the numbers are even more impossible.
We are in a corner here and, considering the circumstances, our current league position and squad composition is nothing short of miraculous. Alex Ferguson is still doing an absolutely brilliant job. The question is, how much longer can he, and the club hold on? We are slipping towards the precipice and without intervention in the very near future – losing to Leeds will start looking like a good result.
Keep the faith. Somehow.
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