|14th February 2005, 15:22||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2003
SOLSKJAER JOINS SHAREHOLDERS UNITED
SOLSKJAER JOINS SHAREHOLDERS UNITED
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, goal-scoring hero of Manchester United’s glorious 1999 European Cup final win in Barcelona, was today unveiled as the latest Patron of Shareholders United, the supporters’ group leading the campaign to defend the club from the threat of takeover by Malcolm Glazer.
Solskjaer is the first serving United player to officially endorse the group, although Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have both spoken out against the Glazer bid in recent days.
In accepting the position of SU Patron, Solskjaer said: “I am honoured. I think it is important that the club remains in the right hands. I am absolutely on the supporters’ side, and think the club is in very good hands as it is today. I am a United fan myself and only want what’s best for the future.” Adding: “Hopefully I will play for many seasons still, but at the moment it is great to follow the team from the sidelines.”
The fans’ favourite, nicknamed the Baby-Faced Assassin, who sports the No.20 shirt, recently had a banner placed on the Stretford End in his honour, the first such tribute to a serving player, reading 20LEGEND. In repaying the genuine affection felt for him (not just for that goal, but for his unswerving loyalty, patience, persistence and good humour) by siding with fans in the epic takeover battle, Solskjaer is sure to find himself in even greater favour with the Old Trafford faithful.
SU vice-chair, Oliver Houston said: “We’re thrilled. Ole’s a United hero, and he’s proving it yet again with this bold and principled gesture. We hope more players will soon follow his lead.”
Other SU Patrons include former players Paddy Crerand, Harry Gregg, Willie Morgan and Alex Stepney, as well as Sir Matt Busby’s son Sandy.
[For full list see: www.ShareholdersUnited.org/patrons.php ]
The Official Manchester United Supporters Club Scandinavian Branch has 25,000 members and is itself one of the 22,000 members of Shareholders United, and SU has a dedicated Norwegian website (www.ShareholdersUnited.no). Scandinavia is an important, loyal and lucrative market for United, with much of the 22% of its merchandising income said to come from Europe deriving from the region, and SU has a great many members there too. SU has members in over 75 countries.
Lars Morten Olsen of the MUSC-SB said: “We’re honoured that Ole Gunnar is the first to officially join SU and we’re behind their campaign all the way.”
Fellow United icon Eric Cantona said: “If Glazer were to come here, we would lose everything.”
And manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists: “We don’t want the club to be in anyone else’s hands. I support that. Shareholders United can only be good for the game. I’d urge United fans to get involved.”
Oliver Houston, SU vice-chair: 07855 097753
Manchester United Supporters Club, Scandinavian Branch
Lars Morten Olsen, United Supporteren editor
Tel – 00 47 691 66394
Mob – 00 47 909 53864
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Article on United.no – the website of the official MUSC-SB:
Solskjaer joins Shareholders United!
United.no can reveal that Ole Gunnar Solskjær has joined Shareholders United, the organisation that is fighting a battle against Malcolm Glazer. Solskjaer has become a Patron.
”He doesn't need to do this. It says so much about his character. We respect him as a player and as a man”, say Shareholders United.
Solskjaer has always been regarded as a supporters´ man. Has status among United-supporters in England has always been almost indescribable high, a status that now certainly takes another mile high leap. Solskjaer has, as the first current player, accepted the request to become a Patron for Shareholders United. A title he shares with ex-players such as Paddy Crerand, Alex Stepney and Willie Morgan.
“The addition of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to our list of patrons is highly significant. This is the first current player we have recruited and what a player! A legend is the obvious and fitting description. But we recognise Ole Gunnar for more than just the great moments he has brought us on the pitch”, says Duncan Drasdo of Shareholders United to United.no
When United-Supporteren interviewed the Norwegian international with 62 caps before Christmas, Solskjaer was the first player to come out public about the takeover-plans, when he said:. “I am absolutely on the supporters side, and I think the club is in very good hands as it is today”. Since then, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have also come out public against Glazer. Something Sir Alex Ferguson also has done.
But Solskjaer is the first present player to join Shareholders United, and by using Solskjaer as a Patron in their fight against Malcolm Glazer, the organisation now hopes that the current membership of 22.000 shoots further up.
“He is clearly an intelligent and loyal man and I believe that this is as much responsible for the huge affection United supporters feel towards him as the goals he has scored”, says SU’s Drasdo.
Even if Solskjaer is, understandably, associated with the goal that won United the Treble at Nou Camp in –99, Drasdo stresses that Uniteds number 20 has a high regard among supporters for so much more than that goal.
“Most of all we are grateful because by accepting our request for him to become an SU patron we feel that Ole Gunnar is returning the genuine affection felt for him. Now that Ole Gunnar has shown the way there can be no excuse for ANY supporter not to join and own part of their club.”
OTHER INFO, from www.ManUtd.com:
Ole can make Reds return - Fergie
9/2/05 9:50 AM
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told by Sir Alex Ferguson that he can play again for Manchester United.
Solskjaer has set a target to return next season after being ruled out for the entirety of the current campaign after undergoing a second operation on his anterior knee ligament injury last summer.
"We are all hoping he can make a comeback," said Sir Alex.
"I think he will have a chance because he is determined enough to do it. He's a superb human being, a fantastic man," the Reds boss added.
The 31-year-old hasn't played since coming on as a substitute in the FA Cup final against Millwall in May 2004.
Solskjaer remains agonisingly on 199 starts for United. A meeting this month with the specialist who operated on the Norwegian striker could decide whether Ole starts running in training.
His remedial training has so far included swimming, gym work and cycling; adding running to his daily programme would be a significant shift towards completing a second century of starts for the club.
|24th February 2005, 14:00||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2003
About Shareholders United:
Shareholders United (SU) is a not-for-profit organisation, registered at Companies House, which runs a Share Scheme in conjunction with The Co-operative Bank, Brewin Dolphin Securities (MUplc’s brokers), and Barclaycard (official partner of MUplc and the Premiership).
SU’s constitution is available on its website, its accounts are independently audited, it has a democratically elected Committee and holds regular open meetings (attended by MUplc officials), and published minutes. It is officially recognised by MU, with a permanent place on the club’s Fans’ Forum and links from the club’s official website to its own.
SU is backed by the All-Party Parliamentary Football Group and the Man Utd Group of MPs, as well as by the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters’ Direct, the national Supporters’ Trust body that is backed by the FA, Premier League and Government.
SU has been endorsed by Sir Alex Ferguson and has a number of Patrons from the world of business, politics, entertainment and sport, including United legends Paddy Crerand, Harry Gregg and Alex Stepney, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
SU is represented on a pro-bono basis by top mergers and acquisitions law firm Weil Gotshal and leading financial analysts Inner Circle Sports.
Representatives of SU are always available to the press, and SU has held media open days in its office in central Manchester. This is in stark contrast to the shadowy way in which Malcolm Glazer has conducted his affairs throughout the bid saga.
SU annual membership costs £10 (UK) and includes a share in MUplc held in SU’s Nominee Account (with voting rights pooled collectively but the ownership of the shares remaining with each individual member), with the remainder of the membership fee being spent on admin (eg postage), member services (eg website and newsletter) and campaigning (eg leaflets). Members have the option of buying more shares through the SU Share Scheme on a regular and/or one-off basis. SU does not give financial advice.