Monday 11 December 2017

Manchester United fans step up anti-Glazer campaign by targeting corporate clients

Henry Winter and Mark Ogden

Manchester United supporters are intensifying their campaign against the Glazers by "peacefully'' targeting the 400 companies who have hospitality facilities at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have launched an investigation to find the employee who leaked the list of corporate box-holders to the fans' action group, United Supporters for Change.

An edited version of the list was on Wednesday published on the internet.

"We are making this list public in order to encourage these organisations to recognise their unique position and responsibilities at this crucial point in MUFC's history,'' said a spokesman for USC, who know the damage it would cause the Glazers if a substantial number of corporate box-holders decided against renewing their option.

"Executive and hospitality income represents around half of all 'match-day' revenue at MUFC. This gives the companies on this list huge potential influence over MUFC and its current owners.

"As MUFC's corporate supporters will be aware, a group calling themselves the 'Red Knights' have stated that they hope to make an offer for MUFC after the end of the season.

"USC therefore strongly encourages the companies on this list to withhold any decision on renewing their facilities at Old Trafford until the Red Knights have made their offer and, assuming it is a significant improvement on the current owners, the Glazers have entered into negotiations with the Red Knights.

"USC believes the companies on this list should recognise their wider responsibility to the people of Manchester and the North West and should encourage MUFC's owners to engage with the Red Knights or other potential bidders.

"USC also encourages employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders of the companies on this list, as well as the recognised supporters' groups and the wider supporter base, to peacefully push these organisations to act as good corporate citizens and responsibly exercise their power over MUFC and the Glazers in the way we suggest."

Meanwhile, Wes Brown is on course to boost Manchester United's push for the Premier League title and England manager Fabio Capello's World Cup plans after returning to training after a seven-week broken metatarsal lay-off.

Brown, 30, has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair the injury sustained during United's 1-0 victory against Wolves at Molineux on March 6.

But the 22-times capped England defender is now in contention for a return to the United squad for Saturday's fixture against Spurs at Old Trafford after being given the all-clear to resume training last week.

Brown's return to fitness is timely for both club and country with Rio Ferdinand again troubled by injury.

The England captain was forced to miss Saturday's victory against Manchester City at Eastlands with a groin problem and, although he is expected to return to fitness in time for the Spurs game, the 31 year-old's injury worries have been a constant issue this season.

With Brown also viewed as second-choice right-back for England behind Liverpool's Glen Johnson, his return to action could ultimately end Gary Neville's hopes of a surprise call into Capello's 23-man squad for South Africa.

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