Manchester United fans urged to boycott season tickets over Glazers
Thu 29th Apr 2010 | Clubs Ownership
Manchester United supporters are being urged to demonstrate their opposition to the ownership of the club by the Glazer family by effectively going on strike, via a mass boycott of season tickets.
With the Glazers insisting they have no intention of relinquishing their power to the Red Knights consortium or any other potential buyers, the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association (IMUSA) has written to its members asking them not to renew their season tickets this summer, in a collective show of mutiny.
"There are many who have gone down this route already and many more who plan to do the same," the organisation said in a statement published on their website. "We all know that hundreds of millions are going out of the club in interest payments ... We can stop them doing this but only if we starve them of cash."
The idea is that the Glazers' cash flow will be badly affected if season-ticket holders choose instead to stay away until there is a takeover or to buy tickets on a match-by-match basis.
United have around 55,000 season-ticket holders and one recent poll showed that 59% of them would consider giving them up, even though the club have frozen prices for the first time since the Glazers took over in 2005. Over that time the prices have gone up by an average 48%.
IMUSA, the club's oldest supporters' group, is also encouraging fans to "buy as little as possible in the ground". Season-ticket holders who decide to renew are asked to leave it "as late as possible" before the 13 June deadline.
Although there is a self-defeating aspect to the campaign, namely costing the club money, the anti-Glazer campaigners believe it is a price worth paying if it results in the Americans deciding they should, after all, listen seriously to potential buyers such as the Red Knights, who are led by the former United director Jim O'Neill.
Keith Harris, the former Football League chairman, is involved with the Red Knights and has said in the past that, if they were successful, they would guarantee any season-ticket holders who have boycotted the club would get their seat back at a lower price.
United say they are confident all their season tickets will be sold by the start of next season but IMUSA says it is a "myth" to claim there is a waiting list at Old Trafford these days. "Most games don't sell out and tickets are readily available," the supporters' group added.
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