MUST welcomes Red Knights’ statement
MUST statement sent to press today:
MUST welcomes the statement from the Red Knights group that they remain determined and committed to achieving the ultimate aim of a supporter-owned club.
MUST also supports the Red Knights reinforcement of their position that they will not pay above fair value for Manchester United. This is in the best long term interests of Manchester United FC and its supporters.
Rather than lining the Glazers pockets with yet more of our money, we want to invest instead in squad strengthening, stadium improvement, rewarding loyalty with fairer ticket prices and paying down the debt - not to mention the fact that if supporters are going to be able to afford a decent chunk of the shares in the second phase of the Red Knights takeover, then an inflated valuation will significantly impact on that. Haven't the Glazers taken enough money off supporters already?
Our understanding is the collective net worth of the Red Knights far exceeds that of the Glazers. It isn't about a lack of resources. It is about fair value and doing what is right the Football Club.
We understand the intention of the statement from the Red Knights is to remove the time deadline pressure and set more realistic expectations with regard to a bid. There is no rush – the pressure is building on the Glazers with matchday revenues declining and the need for huge investment in the playing squad over the next few seasons, especially when Sir Alex retires. There is increasingly fierce competition both domestically and in Europe especially from Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona, along with new challenges even for Champions League qualification coming from Spurs and Manchester City. This will increase competition for the best players and consequently the costs associated with maintaining the club's current position and revenues.
In the meantime MUST and the Red Knights will continue to go about our preparations and be ready when the Glazers are prepared to take a realistic view on the valuation of the club.
A MUST spokesperson said:
"We completely support the stance of the Red Knights group not to pay a ridiculous premium price to the Glazers. We want to see investment in the club – not more money going into the Glazers pockets. After the damage that they have already inflicted on our club many supporters would feel sickened to see them walk away with a huge profit."
"In addition to the huge debt they’ve dumped on a previously profitable club they also wasted £443m in interest and fees – far more than the total (£398m) received from supporters in payment for tickets during their reign."
"So they’ve wasted every single penny we’ve paid for tickets over the entire 5 year period. No wonder so many supporters are considering switching from a season ticket to match by match attendance or delaying season ticket renewal until the Glazers agree to sell."
"Under a future structure where ownership is shared with supporters, compared to the current regime, there is the opportunity to tap into huge potential growth in revenue resulting from the enhanced affinity between the supporters and the club. We want to see that revenue reinvested into the club. There is no reason why Manchester United should not be able to compete for the very best players in the world and play in the best stadium as well as work towards the things that many supporters care about - rewarding the loyalty of its supporters with fair ticket distribution and pricing while working for the best matchday atmosphere, safe standing and fair treatment of our away support."
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Figures courtesy of "Andersred blog" http://www.andersred.blogspot.com
GLAZER COSTS SINCE TAKEOVER
Professional fees £80m
Loss on closing interest rate hedge £41m
Cash interest paid £216m
Management and consultancy fees £13m
Loans to Glazer family members £10m
Rolled up PIK interest £83m
TICKET REVENUE SINCE TAKEOVER
Ticket revenue 2005/06 to 2009/10
Total wasted £443m minus total ticket cost £398m = £45m
£45m divided between 56,000 Season Ticket holders = £803 lump sum
So supporters could have attended every game for the last 5 years free of charge and on top of that each season ticket holder could have been given a cash lumpsum of £800.
That is the cost of the Glazer ownership.
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