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Time to storm Old Trafford and take the club back!
How the red Devils can take back Manchester United!
Glazers Out, Glazers Out! There has been much vitriol about the Glazer’s family’s ownership of Manchester United and the huge debts they have saddled the club with, not to mention the increasing interest payments. There were rumours earlier of an Asian (Chinese?) consortium putting together a 1 billion dollar bid to buy out the ownership from the Glazers family. There have also been rumours of the Glazers serenading the Qatari Sheikhs to buy stakes in the club while the team was training on their recent trip to Qatar (the sunny weather offered much more than just that).
While the jury is still out on the pros and cons of both the options, I have a different take on the subject. It is not rocket science to comprehend how these spiralling debts can hasten the demise of a football club (look at Leeds, Newcastle and now Portsmouth). It therefore becomes imperative for fans to get a grip on things. Man U definitely needs to get into new hands where the revenues from the Theatre of Dreams aren’t used to service the debts or personal loans of the owners. I propose the fans all over the world to take over the club through a trust/ association, viz. the MUST (Manchester United Supporters Trust) or any other similar association. Here is my plan:
I assume Manchester United has 500 million fans worldwide. (Wiki Answers lists the number as 320 million, but lets assume).
If each fan were to contribute one dollar’s equivalent, we could garner $500 million.
This is neither enough, nor practical. Here is how/ why. Being a fan of Man U doesn’t require someone to have money. Fans could be children(no money) or people from third world countries(little money) and even fans that are actually trying to make ends meet and don’t have enough money to splurge on sports.
A practical model for this would be equity. Fans buy shares of Man U according to their appetite, wealth and fancy.
Assuming each share’s face value to be $1 and further assuming at most 8.65 million fans do not buy any shares due to any reasons mentioned above or otherwise, we can raise $1.10 Billion. Here is how:
It is safe to further assume that there will be some wealthy/ affluent fans that will each be willing to buy 1,000/ 500/ 200 etc. shares.
There will also be some fans that would barely buy a single share for $1.
Around 8.6 Million fans do not buy any share due to reasons mentioned above.
So, here is the deal: Buy out the Glazers by paying them $1 Billion. That leaves us with $ 102 Million in cash. This will be converted into a Bank Deposit to earn interest & can be used as the transfer kitty for the summer window/ for the future.
The shares bought will not be the actual Man U shares traded on the exchange. They will be the shares/ equity in the Trust – the MUST or some other such investment vehicle. The shareholders of the trust will vote for the executive council – CEO and other officials through online voting or other such means so that its is purely democratic and every OWNER has a say. The people elected as a result will run the club.
I do agree this is a half baked idea but one whose time has come. Lots of fans would have thought about a similar idea or even worked on similar lines before. I just thought I should share it with you so maybe someone can fine tune this proposal. After all, fans know best!
Read more from Mayank Arya by CLICKING HERE