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Mar 27, 2014

MUST urge Glazers to sell Man United

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti talks David Moyes' future.

The Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) has called on the club's owners, the Glazer family, to sell the Premier League champions after a report emerged that some of their greatest players will front a bid to buy the triple European Cup winners.

The Glazers have come in for criticism from Manchester United fans.
The Glazers have come in for criticism from Manchester United fans.

"The Glazers will sell at some point and that time may be fast approaching as they realise that the model which worked so well for them under Sir Alex is not sustainable now," Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of MUST, said, adding that the Glazers' current financial model is unsustainable now that Sir Alex Ferguson has retired.

Since the Glazers bought United in 2005, around 700 million pounds has been spent on interest fees, bank charges and debt repayment.

Ferguson won five Premier League titles and reached three Champions League finals in his final eight years at Old Trafford, but under his successor, David Moyes, United are languishing in seventh place and enduring their poorest season for a quarter of century.

Although Moyes is expected to have a large transfer budget this summer, MUST said United cannot afford to continue spending money meeting the Glazers' financial commitments, caused by the debt they incurred when buying the club.

"If we want to compete with our main rivals domestically and in Europe we'll need to match their investment over the long term and that will squeeze profits and therefore bring the valuation down," Drasdo said. "They must be looking at a possible exit so now is the time for the global fanbase to come together.

"Undoubtedly the majority of fans would like to see a better ownership model which put the club and fans first rather than the profits of private owners."

The Sun claims that 'the Class of 92' -- David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville -- would become the public face of a consortium backed by the Qatari royal family that will try to take over United.

United have received no bids and MUST said it is sceptical about the veracity of the report.

The Glazers own 90 percent of United, with the remaining 10 percent sold on the New York Stock Exchange after an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2012.

United's share price rose to $16.90 after report of the possible takeover was printed, despite the team's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday, and it means they are valued at around $2.7 billion.

MUST has 200,000 members and Drasdo said some of United's past greats have the right idea how to run a club.

Giggs, who is a player-coach, and Phil Neville, who is on Moyes' coaching staff, are still at Old Trafford. They, Scholes, Beckham, Butt and Gary Neville have made more than 3,000 appearances for United, winning 93 trophies.

And Drasdo added: "As with the fans these special players have MUFC running through their veins so you can understand why fans would warm to the idea of working together with them on a better ownership model for United.

"Gary Neville has recently voiced his admiration for the Bayern Munich structure and that is also similar to the model which MUST would like to see too. Munich benefit from shared ownership between fans and commercial investors with people with real football backgrounds in positions of power alongside the best professional executives. That combination is potent and has turned Bayern Munich into the powerhouse we see today.

"Like Munich, United don't need a sugar daddy. We just need to be released from the shackles of the Glazer ownership and allowed to reinvest Manchester United's own massive revenues for the benefit of the club and fans.

"Sir Matt Busby always saw Manchester United like a family with the owners, board, players and fans all working together. That is very much our vision, too. We'd like to see every Manchester United fan in the world able to own a stake in, and contribute to, their own football club."

Separately, Gary Neville and Giggs are concluding a deal to buy a club -- non-league Salford City -- in the Manchester area.

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