MUST is the independent Manchester United supporters trust. We are dedicated to securing meaningful permanent ownership of MUFC for supporters.

M.U.S.T proposal for away ticket exchange comes into force

18 07 2017

During the course of last season, when many supporters contacted M.U.S.T about away tickets collections and the lack of flexibility shown by the Club and what many perceived as Draconian sanctions, we set about discussing some practical solutions with them.

The Club was clear that it wanted to clamp down on touting and increase the success rates in ballots for genuine fans, but that they understood a consequence of this was a resentment by some fans who had swapped around tickets at face value for years and were just helping mates in a way Reds had done through out the decades. We also argued this was an essential part of building the community and camaraderie that makes our away support the envy of our rivals.

The Club insisted that recipients of tickets must be Season Ticket holders who were eligible to apply for the game in question and had not received a ticket in the ballot (whether they applied or not).

M.U.S.T therefore proposed an away ticket exchange (actually really a transfer system) which would only be accessible to those entitled to apply for away tickets therefore allowing fans to transfer tickets but not to let them leave a closed group as specified by Club rules. We saw his as a compromise to allow more flexibility than was the case otherwise and a significant improvement on the existing system.

Harry Gregg - Fundraiser - 100 Name Dedicated Signed Shirts

The Club backed this idea and took it to the Fans Forum who have also agreed to it. The Forum members have had an input into the specific mechanics. As one example, Forum members were concerned about away application numbers rising back to previous levels again and so each supporter will be limited to exchanging only a few tickets a season as a balance proposed by them.

However, we remain pleased that the away exchange system will be introduced for this season, starting with Swansea away.

The Club will be sending out full information on how the exchange will work after the Swansea ballot.

Separately, M.U.S.T has continued to push for a Home ticket exchange system too in order to allow more flexibility to season ticket holders unable to attend a match but who have become increasingly concerned about the dangers of lending tickets to people they don't know too well in case of any problems. We have not had a commitment from the Club that this will be implemented but our representations have been listened to and we will continue to make the case for one.

The previous Home exchange agreement with Viagogo didn't work due to the extremely high fees attached to purchasing the resold tickets but a 5% booking fee to the purchaser (to cover the costs of a third party running the exchange given we do not believe it would be done in house by United) capped at £2 and the full face value price being returned to the season ticket holder would be reasonable in our view.

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Harry Gregg - Fundraiser - 100 Name Dedicated Signed Shirts

24 06 2017

Harry Gregg - Fundraiser - 100 Name Dedicated Signed Shirts

Manchester United legend Harry Gregg is doing a charity fundraiser for The Harry Gregg Foundation andM.U.S.T - the Manchester United Supporters Trust(of which Harry is also a patron) with all proceeds to be split 50:50 between the two organisations.

Harry has agreed to autograph up to 100 shirts (replicas of the 1958 FA Cup Final Goalkeeper shirt worn by Harry himself) each including a name dedication of your choice. He rarely does signings but crucially he says this will be the last such shirt signing he will do - ever - so these are going to be treasured collectors items from a true legend of Manchester United - The Hero of Munich

If you'd like to order one of these unique pieces of memorabilia, and in doing so raise funds for two great causes, you can order yours here
http://mustshop.org/products/Harry-Gregg-Personalised-Signed-Shirt.html

We expect orders to close within 14 days or when 100 shirts have been ordered, whichever happens first, so don't delay if you want to secure one

 

Harry Gregg - Fundraiser - 100 Name Dedicated Signed Shirts

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Willie Satinoff: One of us - gone, but never forgotten

27 04 2017

Manchester United fans are raising £550 to commemorate Willie Satinoff with a fitting memorial at 18 Sir Matt Busby Way, the HQ of M.U.S.T

 

Manchester United fans are raising £550 to commemorate Willie Satinoff with a fitting memorial.

Many fans will have heard the name Willie Satinoff but may not know the full story behind that name. However most will be aware that he was a victim of the Munich air disaster, and Manchester United supporter, who has otherwise received little formal recognition.

It has long been felt that this is a wrong that should be righted and so a group of Manchester United fans approached M.U.S.T to seek assistance. They proposed, with the approval of members of the Satinoff family, that a memorial plaque should be commissioned and, given Willie was a supporter like all of us, an appropriate place to site this would be at the official supporters' trust HQ at 18 Sir Matt Busby Way.

We could easily have raised the funds from a few wealthy donors, or M.U.S.T itself, but we feel it is appropriate to allow as many fans as possible to make their own small contributions so we have set up this JustGiving page to allow just that.

The memorial plaque will be crafted by stonemason Paul Farrell - and will be tastefully fashioned from polished Indian Black Granite and bear the following engraving in sandblasted letters with a silver finish:

IN MEMORY OF

WILLIAM SATINOFF

DIED 6TH FEB. 1958 AGED 48 YEARS

IN THE MUNICH AIR DISASTER

OF THE 23 FATALITIES WHICH INCLUDED
CREW, PRESS. M.U.F.C. STAFF AND PLAYERS

WILLIE WAS THE ONLY MANCHESTER UNITED
SUPPORTER TRAVELLING ON BOARD

R I P

It will be positioned on the wall of the house, above the front door of 18 Sir Matt Busby Way, so it can be seen by the thousands of fans who pass by every match day, and indeed every day of the week.

 

This is Willie's story as told by Tom Clare:

It is rather ironic that the preceding 10 days before the Munich tragedy happened, shaped the future and destiny of Manchester United Football Club. The decision to hire a charter aircraft for the trip to Belgrade and the death of George Whittaker, a United director, on February 1st 1958, had enormous effects on the Club’s future.

On Friday, January 31st 1958, the Manchester United team, officials, and directors had traveled down to London in readiness for the team's fixture against Arsenal which was to be played at Highbury the following afternoon. On Saturday morning, February 1st 1958, one of the Manchester United directors, Mr. George Whittaker, a Manchester business man, was found dead in bed in his hotel room. He had passed away in his sleep during the night. That afternoon, as a mark of respect, players from both teams wore black armbands, and a one minute silence was observed by both teams and the 55,000 fans attending, prior to the match kicking off. 

The game itself is widely remembered, even today, because that cold, grey, February afternoon, United triumphed in a feast of football and goals, by 5-4. Sadly, for some United players, it was to be the last game of football that they ever played on their home, British soil. 

The party traveled back to Manchester by train immediately after the game, and the players and manager were in a very buoyant mood given their display at Highbury just a few hours earlier. Accompanying the party that day was a supporter; another Manchester business man by the name of Willie Satinoff. Mr. Satinoff had made his money in the cotton trade in and around the Manchester area. Outside of his business interests, his main pastime was following Manchester United Football Club, and he was fanatical in his support for his beloved club. 

Willie was close to Matt Busby. So close in fact, that he had traveled with the United team on all of their European exploits since their journey began in the 1956/57 season. So it was that on February 3rd, 1958, he was the only fan traveling with the team out to Belgrade for the forthcoming return European Cup Quarter Final tie against the Red Star Belgrade club. Not one club Director made that fateful trip as they were all attending George Whittaker’s funeral on the day of the match against Red Star Belgrade. At that time, it was commonly known within Manchester football circles, that Willie was being tipped to soon become a director at the Club which he was so fanatical about. It is believed that Willie Satinoff made the trip to Belgrade as a representative of Manchester United Football Club, and not just as a fan.

Sadly, his hopes and dreams of attaining his Directorship were shattered by the events of Thursday, February 6th, 1958. Willie paid the ultimate price for following his beloved United when he perished in that terrible accident on a snowy afternoon on the runway of the airport in Munich, Germany. With his death, both Manchester and the Jewish community were robbed of one of its most colourful personalities.

Willie Satinoff Funeral - Press Report

Willie Satinoff loved life. He worked hard and played hard. He possessed unbounded energy and however insignificant the task, he did it with all his heart and soul. In the Manchester world of commerce he was known as a ‘ human dynamo’; as an employer he was well respected by his employees who looked upon him as a friend rather than a boss. He took a great interest in the lives of those who he employed and they knew that any problems which they had could be referred to him, and he would attempt to give them the help and advice which they needed.

In all spheres of life, Willie Satinoff knew no barriers of race or creed. He was certainly a citizen of the world. He gave generously to both Christian and Jewish charities. Literally hundreds of requests for money or clothing reached him daily from orphanages and children’s homes throughout Great Britain and never was he known to refuse. The full story of his generosity will never come to light because Willie was a man who hated fuss and publicity, and it was only his immediate family and those persons who were close to him knew just to what extent he helped less fortunate human beings and institutions who were doing such charitable work.

Satinoff loved sport and was an active participant becoming an expert skier, a very good tennis player, and was a champion at the game of ‘Fives’, a game similar to Squash except that the ball is hit against the wall with a gloved hand instead of raquet. He was a racehorse owner but his main love was Machester United Football Club. As a follower of the ‘Sport of Kings’ he had some success and was not averse to putting one over on the bookmakers. 

One of Satinoff’s close acquaintances was the well known professional gambler, Alex Bird. Bird was an ex-bookmaker, and in the 1950s was the owner of a private aircraft which would take him to the various race meetings around Great Britain. On more than the odd occasion, he would be accompanied by Willie Satinoff. One of Satinoff’s horses was called ‘Red Alligator’ (named after a brand of clothing his firm manufactured but not to be confused with the 1968 Grand National winner of the same name) and on the way to a meeting where the horse was running, Satinoff disclosed to Bird that he wanted to put a bet of some £8000 (a considerable amount back in those days) on the nag and that he wanted Bird to place the bet for him.

Before the race, ‘Red Alligator’ was priced at 7/1. Bird arranged for six different people to put bets on around the course of £2000 each, and just before the race started, Satinoff enquired how much he stood to win. Alex took the six race cards from the people who had put the bets on and handed them over to Satinoff. By this time, ‘Red Alligator’ had become the race’s short priced favourite, and when the sum was added up, it was found to be £24,000 from just £5,800 invested. ‘Red Alligator’ won the race easily, and on the way home, Alex Bird handed Satinoff a cheque for his winnings.

Since the day of the tragic accident, Willie Satinoff has fast become the forgotten man of Munich. Reams of paper have been written about events; radio and tv documentaries have covered the incident in great detail, but apart from Willie Satinoff's name being listed amongst those that perished, he rarely gets a mention. 

But for those sad events of the first week in February 1958, it is more than likely that Louis Edwards would never have been invited to become a director of Manchester United Football Club and that his son, Martin, would never have known any involvement with the club at all during his lifetime.

If the club had not chartered an aircraft specifically for that trip and had used normal commercial schedules, there would have been no accident. 

If there had been no accident, Willie Satinoff, the only supporter to travel on that ill fated trip, would have survived. 

After the death of George Whittaker, it is almost certain that Willie Satinoff would have been elected onto the Manchester United Board in his place.

Popular opinion suggests he would have served on the Board for a long, long time, as he was only 48 years old at the time of the tragedy, and it is more than possible that he would eventually have become Chairman of the club he loved so much.

 Satinoff - Memorial Headstone

His resting place is passed by every day without notice, as hundreds of people make their way by various means along one of Manchester's busiest throroughfares. Many I suspect are fervent Manchester United fans, who today, given the length of time that has passed since the accident happened, wouldn't even know who Willie Satinoff was. For those of you that may be interested, he rests in the Jewish section of the Southern Cemetery, Manchester, almost adjacent to the Manchester Crematorium. As you walk down Barlow Moor Road towards Princess Parkway, and pass by the Crematorium, there is a little gate which allows you entrance into the Jewish section of Southern Cemetery. Willie's resting place is just down on the right hand side of the path, after you have passed through the gate. Unpretentious, just a plain black marble stone, sadly highlighting the details of the date, and where, this United fan passed away.

 

If you'd like to be one of the fans who contribute to the Willie Satinoff memorial plaque you can do so via the JustGiving page.

 

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Twenty’s Plenty becomes a reality - for one game at least…

06 04 2017

Following on from this season’s cap of £30, for one round of fixtures in April, an away ticket will cost £20 – making the slogan ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ a reality for one game at least.

This is the result of a joint venture between M.U.S.T's national umbrella body - The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) - and Virgin Media. The sponsors will reimburse the cost to bring all tickets down to £20 following games played over two weekends (including dates for fixtures rescheduled due to FA Cup semi-finals). For United fans, this will be the match away to Burnley on Sunday 23rd April.

Twenty's Plenty

M.U.S.T has been at the forefront of the campaign to reduce ticket prices that began in 2013. We participated in the first march on the Premier League on the day fixtures were announced, which was supported by supporters of all clubs around the country.

We kept the pressure up with demonstrations and delegations of fan groups meeting with Premier League representatives, under the banner of FSF. Eventually in 2016 clubs voted to introduce the £30 cap from which we all now benefit.

Today’s announcement means Virgin Media are effectively subsidising £10 on every Premier League away ticket. Supporters will be able to claim their subsidy after the match has been played by visiting virginmedia.com/twentysplenty

A cheque, and cost of postage will be sent to you in the following weeks. Unfortunately the discount couldn't be applied at source because not all clubs would agree to participate.

While this is primarily a matter of principle it is proof of what is possible working with sponsors and other fans groups. Hopefully, more will follow, and M.U.S.T will continue to work to get the best deal for our members and all match-going fans along with the FSF and other groups on national campaigns.

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M.U.S.T statement re current relationship with Club

28 03 2017

“The first decade of the Glazer ownership of Manchester United saw a sustained period of under-investment in the team which came home to roost following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. The on-field decline since then was avoidable, and the responsibility sits squarely with the owners of the club in the period from 2005-13 as it was made necessary by the cost of their takeover being placed upon the Club.
 
“But the past is the past. Now we believe the focus must be on maintaining the present level of investment in the playing side and expanding the stadium so that Manchester United remains one of the biggest clubs in world football. Today, the club works better with its supporters than it did a few years ago. Under supporter pressure, ticket prices have stabilised and the club now works harder to engage with supporters groups on the day-to-day issues affecting fans. But there is still much more to do.
 
“Our priority and purpose has always been to fight for, and protect the club in the best interests of the fans, and the execution of that strategy has seen a shift from early day protests to a robust but co-operative relationship - something we were keen to bring about - and have now achieved at the instigation of the Club itself”. 
 
“Ultimately, we remain of the view that a significant proportion of a football clubs shares should sit in supporters hands. Football clubs are social and community institutions as much as they are private ones, and a significant proportion of supporter ownership ensures their interests are taken properly into account, and the club as a whole takes a sufficiently long-term view over decision-making. We believe that this represents the best ownership model for Manchester United and football clubs the length and breadth of the country.”
 
"However that is a longer term objective and in the meantime the improvement in relations with Club management has brought many small but incremental benefits, particularly for matchgoing fans. We expect the more co-operative relationship to continue to yield further benefits so it makes sense to pursue this while still retaining our watchdog role and our long term goal to give fans a significant ownership stake."

Notes:

1. MUFC COVERING COST OF RUSSIAN VISAS FOR OUR FANS FOLLOWING M.U.S.T REQUEST

2. TICKETING STATEMENT FROM M.U.S.T

3. M.U.S.T FOLLOW-UP MEETING WITH MUFC RE DEVELOPMENT AT OLD TRAFFORD TO EXPAND DISABLED FACILITIES

4. CLARIFICATION RE MUST CONSULTATION ON DISABLED SECTION EXPANSION

5. M.U.S.T RESPONSE TO ANNOUNCEMENT OF REDEVELOPMENT AT OLD TRAFFORD TO EXPAND DISABLED FACILITIES

6. SOME RECENT ACTIVITY BY M.U.S.T ON BEHALF OF MATCH GOING FANS

7. M.U.S.T STATEMENT RE: FANS’ FORUM RETURN

8. MUFC TICKETING & MEMBERSHIP SANCTIONS AND M.U.S.T’S ROLE IN RECOMMENDING REFORMS

9. M.U.S.T MEETING WITH MUFC

10. M.U.S.T TO MEET MANCHESTER UNITED TO DISCUSS FANS’ AWAY TICKETING CONCERNS

11. MUST END OF SEASON REPORT 2015/16

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