The MUST Anti Glazer Movement Is Rolling Again

What could turn out to be a pivotal moment and turning point in the Manchester United fans movement against the Glazer ownership of the club took place on Saturday afternoon in the centre of Manchester, with roughly 200 United fans, fully equipped with Eric Cantona masks, “flashmobbing” Glazer sponsor Thomas Cook’s branch outside of the Arndale Centre in a legal, peaceful and non-violent protest organised by the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST).

What could turn out to be a pivotal moment and turning point in the Manchester United fans movement against the Glazer ownership of the club took place on Saturday afternoon in the centre of Manchester, with roughly 200 United fans, fully equipped with Eric Cantona masks, “flashmobbing” Glazer sponsor Thomas Cook’s branch outside of the Arndale Centre in a legal, peaceful and non-violent protest organised by the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST).

This event, which follows the protest march that was witnessed prior to the Spurs game last week  where approximately 3,000 supporters marched from the Tollgate Inn to Old Trafford cricket ground and onto the proper Old Trafford itself, is the first Direct Action since 2006, and represents a new and potentially very successful strategy for the group.

Huge gains were made last year for the anti-Glazer movement, with the cause receiving international coverage – and effectively endorsement from one Mr David Beckham. To take things to the next level, it was proposed to all fans not to renew their season tickets, thereby starving the Glazer’s of funds and making their ownership untenable. It has, however, been hard to fulfil the potential of this strategy because, although in theory it is a brilliant idea, many fans do not want to adversely affect the team by not giving them the support that they feel is their duty to provide.

For United fans to have any chance of ousting the Glazer’s we need to hit them where it hurts, in the wallet. After all, that’s why they bought us. Commercial revenue for United, our fastest growing source of income, is approximately £70m, nearly 25% of the clubs total income, which is only about £30m short of total TV revenue. United have a plethora of sponsors providing millions of pounds to the club every year, and so by effectively boycotting these firms, the club will face a potential cash crisis, the only solution of which will be to boot the Glazer’s out of the club.

If companies realise that sponsoring Man United will lead to mass boycotts of their products and non-violent – but loud, protests at their premises, very few will have any incentive to sponsor us. If the only solution is to get rid of the Glazer’s, then that is what will be done.

This website has for a long time advocated the MUST inspired movement, and is often critical of the Glazer ownership. Whether it’s the massive debt, crippling interest payments, disdain for the fans or general moral bankruptcy of the owners, there is no doubting that their continued presence is detrimental to the long-term success and stability of Manchester United.

There have always been people who have been critical of the movement, even amongst United fans – having once been one of those people myself I am well aware of this. At first I thought the movement was too costly in the short-run, I didn’t see how taking money of the club could help the situation. Then I thought that the financial situation wasn’t as bad as people made out, but that was until I read this brilliant post at The Swiss Ramble (link here). Then I looked down at the people who wear their green and gold scarves with their brand new United shirts, mistakenly believing these people to be the majority of the movement rather than minority. And if even people do choose to do this, it doesn’t alter the validity of the anti-Glazer cause.

People also accuse the MUST of sensationalism and exaggeration, citing the clubs on-pitch success in recent years as evidence for showing that the Glazer’s aren’t all that bad. But to do so is to confuse correlation with causality, just because the two happened together doesn’t mean that they’re linked.

Getting Ronaldo for just £12m, Chelsea shooting consistently themselves in the foot and Fergie devising a tactically revolutionary side are what I would cite as the reasons behind our recent success. Regardless of the Glazer’s, that would still have been achieved. Who knows, without them in charge we may have gone on to win even more, but that’s the kind of question we don’t want to be asking ourselves ten years from now, “what if”.

But there are two things we need for this strategy to work, unity and numbers. You could sense at times at Old Trafford this season a sense of defeat and resignation to the Glazer’s ownership, and a general snobbery towards those still engaging in the anti-Glazer chants. But since the march before the Spurs game this has disappeared, the frequency of the anti-Glazer chants is increasing and they are now louder than they have ever been this season.

Having 200 people at the Thomas Cook protest was a great achievement, especially considering the secrecy of the event – which was essential to its success. But it definitely isn’t enough. The MUST now has over 165,000 registered supporters, even a 1% turnout would result in protests big enough to send massive shockwaves around the footballing world. So I urge anyone out there to become a fully paid member of the MUST (link here), which only costs £15, so that you can receive information regarding future protest events. United we stand, divide their sponsors and the Glazers will fall.

Do you support these types of protests?

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  • Yes the movement is up and moving again after been flattened by their own stupidity. Moving again but in what direction? You guys are on a long road to nowhere.

  • I fully support these protests i think they are a great idea and are keeping the momentum high. Having been at both protests my self i thought they were both very well planned. The flash mob was done and dusted in 5 minutes but it will have made a big impact.

    Fight for United
    Fight Glazer !

  • I can understand where MUST is coming from, I love the passion that the FC United people show but I just cannot get my head around going against what Sir Alex keeps telling us. Talk of him HAVING to support the Glazers because he’s employed by them do not wash with me. Ferguson does not HAVE to answer to anyone he believes are hurting the club. At his age, he can walk away whenever he wants to. The bottom line is that if it comes down to who I most put my trust in, it will be Sir Alex over MUST every single time.

  • We signed Ronaldo for just 12 millions !!!!…. However, it’s down to a very LUCKY SIGNING !!! Why???… Because the scouts, led by Martin Ferguson (SAF’s brother), didn’t do their job. We signed Ronaldo just because he played very well aginst us in the friendly match. By that time, infact, Ronaldo nearly signed for Arsenal already. If we didn’t play against S.Lisbon, Ronaldo whould have signed for the Gunners, that’s for sure. (We signed Ronaldo just because he played terrificly against us and our players, led by Keano, told SAF to sign him)!!!!….

    What Martin Ferguson (SAF’s brother) keep doing is wasting our limited amount of money in the transfer market. Yesterday match against Wolves is a great example. How can we pay 7.6 millions for a player like Bebe, while at the same time Tottenham get Van Der Vart for a similar amount of money???

    We paid 17 millions for Anderson, while at the same time Arsenal paid 10 millions for the service of Nasri. The others like Tosic, Manucho, Obertan, Diouff, etc. most signed to sit on the bench or loaned out to other clubs. Why???…

    If we are one of the best team, why we never get into the race to sign top class, or even top young talented players??? Infact what happens is we keep on signing un-proved players whom there is no competitions for the signature of these players. WHY??? The only reason I can think about it is there is no real competition for these players, so they can UP the price and make room for CORRUPTIONS!!!…

    Unlike the Owner of Chelsea or Man. City, we all know that the Glazers have created an enormous amount of debt to our club. We are no longer the richest club in the world. BUT… Why SAF and David Gill keep saying that the Glazers is GOOD to the club??? Think by yourself mate!!!!..

  • @The Judge: Aren’t attitudes like yours just a self-fulfilling prophecy? It seems you’ve already made your mind up about the issue and are ignoring any evidence that is contrary to the beliefs you already hold. Confirmation bias and all that. If our actions ever help in getting rid of the Glazer’s, I expect a big chocolate apology cake from you.

    @Andy: Glad you attended both protests, certainly agree on the flash mob. I’m sure people who were there who weren’t United fans will complain about damage and fear caused by the event (which isn’t true), but as with anything like this people are often quick to engage in knee-jerk sensationalism.

    @Frank: I see your point, but it’s well known with Sir Alex that he doesn’t always tell the truth, he does/says what he thinks is best for the club. Just look at the Cantona saga, the Keane saga, the Rooney saga. I feel quite confident in saying that, were the protests to cleanly and smoothly dispose of the Glazer’s, he would have a lot to get off his chest.

    @Gazzaro: Hard to follow what you’re saying but yes, of couse luck played a role in the success of the Ronaldo transfer, as it does with most things in life. The difference between a player becoming an established Premiership star and a non-league regular is tiny. But I’m sure Ronaldo was on our radar for quite a while, Sporting being an associated club of ours. Perhaps his performance against us was merely the straw that broke the camels back.

    I can’t believe you’re judging Bébé already, to be honest I don’t think he looks great, but I also thought the same about Fletcher, Evra and Vidic at one time. It’s incredibly easy to compare the success of one transfer to another and use that difference to launch an attack against someone. So what, Arsenal got Nasri for £10m, they also wasted money on Reyes, Jeffers, Cygan, countless others. Everyone does it.

    Teams buy lots of players in the hope/gamble that one will become brilliant. With the standard of football being so high now, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find the players that are just good enough to be Premiership stars. Perhaps in a parallel universe the likes of Tosic and Diouf managed to become star players, whilst Gary Neville and Giggs are playing for Rochdale and Accrington Stanley. As you said, there’s a lot of luck involved.

    The reason we’re not competing for top players isn’t because of corruption, it’s because it’s impossible for us to outbid City and Chelsea as long as the Glazer’s are in charge. We have to be very careful with every penny we spend, we can’t risk too many expensive flops (and if you call Berbatov a flop I will hunt you down), hence astute signings such as Hernandez and Smalling. This strategy means that some players may flop (Tosic, Ljajic etc), but that’s the way it is now. Were the Glazer’s not there we’d have £80m-£100m to spend each season and yes, then we could go after the Villa’s and Ozil’s of this world, but you also have to understand that Manchester is no Barcelona, and sometimes players have no interest in playing for United for other reasons about which we can do nothing.

    So Fergie and Gill are saying the Glazer’s are good? So what? The directors at Enron also said nothing was wrong at their company, as did the directors of Leeds. Don’t be so quick to believe the word from the top, just because it’s in line with what you already believe.

  • It was a good event and I hope its the first step to many more, sad to see no updates on the main MUST website though

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