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Old 26th July 2012, 22:46   #1
Paul Brooks

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Default Q&A – MUST CEO Drasdo on IPO / MUST statement

Q&A – MUST CEO Drasdo on IPO / MUST statement
By yolkie
– July 26, 2012Posted in: Premier League

News emerged yesterday evening that the proposed flotation of Manchester United in New York has been pulled by the Glazer family amid initial suggestions that it had been postponed; in the wake of this news, MUST responded by issuing a press release urging the clubs’ owners to consider a full flotation with a single class of voting shares.

MUST CEO Duncan Drasdo took time to answer some questions from 7Cantonas regarding the statement, which you can read below.

Is the proposal suggested in the statement a reaction to the supposed pulling of the floatation, or has this been in the pipeline?

We’ve always campaigned for supporters to buy shares and increase stake in the club and a full float is the best way to do this. The Glazers have shown they are prepared to float so if they do it properly – full voting shares and 100% of company we’d support that and encourage fans to pile in.

A million shareholders… it’s possible, but how would it work?

Yes – why not. There are other companies with a million shareholders and MUFC is no ordinary company. I’d say it makes more sense for a football club than any other business to be owned by its customers.

Some might refer to the so called “Barcelona model”; yet they have suffered extreme financial difficulties. People forget that as recently as 2010 they had problems paying wages..

That isn’t ownership model related. It’s simply down to risk taking management. However that is much more common at privately owned clubs. The best run clubs are undoubtedly the German clubs and guess what – they’re supporter owned. Cheap tickets, safe standing, fantastic fan relations, most successful in commercial revenue – no coincidence

Why should supporters get behind this?

Because they care about Manchester United and this is the only way to protect it long term and also has huge benefits with the special affinity that comes with supporter ownership. Most fans see investing in and owning part of their club as a totally natural ultimate expression of their support

“Now” has been the right time to get rid of the Glazers’ ownership for 7 years… yet they have not exactly been forthcoming in discussions with any supporter group. Why do you think this time will be different?

They are running out of options. This could be a profitable exit strategy. The best deals are win-win. The Glazers have only tried win-lose (with supporters and club losing and them winning). It makes sense for everyone if they can see beyond their greed.

Can this be more successful than the “green and gold” campaign? That got some decent publicity but ultimately fizzled out..

I think Green & Gold is still a powerful symbol. Naturally the popularity dipped after a huge peak but it is still there bubbling away under the surface and I expect it to rise again as people see the chance for change. There are regular calls for new protests etc but we have a potent symbol of resistance and an aspiration for a better United. If the Glazers were prepared to tell the truth publicly they’d admit that G&G has been their most powerful opposition – capturing media, spooking sponsors, raising doubts with investors. I’d invite every supporter to have a look at THE WAY FORWARD report here:

How can United supporters get involved and get behind the campaign?

At this point it is as simple as joining as a free e-member at but what happens next depends on a number of external factors so we need to see things develop first. However our plan is to encourage supporters to firstly save and then invest in United shares and continue to increase their personal stake on an ongoing monthly basis. Those who have already signed up can get their friends involved too but you can’t push people too hard – they have to make their own decisions.

MUST Statement :

Glazers IPO fails again – Manchester United supporters call for fan ownership through full flotation
A MUST spokesperson said “News reaches us tonight from an impeccable source that the Glazers have been forced to pull the New York flotation of Manchester United due to lack of interest at the valuation they were placing on the club. That combined with the unattractive dual class share structure meant they couldn’t find support in the market at the price they wanted. We expect they will blame market conditions although there’s been little change in markets since they filed with the SEC.”
“We now call on the Glazers to come back with a full flotation of Manchester United with a single class of full voting shares. Should they choose to do this, with no strings attached, we would support such a flotation wholeheartedly and encourage the global fan base of Manchester United to seize such an historic opportunity to secure a meaningful fan ownership stake where the priorities of the club are the same as the fans – not absentee owners. We invite Manchester United supporters around the world to come together – register interest with MUST through our website - and create the future Manchester United we all want to see.”
MUST – The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust Our aim is to provide Manchester United fans with the opportunity for mass supporter participation in ownership of their club. This could well be the precursor to such an opportunity and we’d urge every Manchester United supporter who cares about the club to register with the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) through our website. We will provide information to supporters as soon as it is available.
We’d like to see at least a million Manchester United supporters sharing in ownership of their club and it is our role as the official supporters trust to try to make that possible. Supporters can register for free through for information.
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