Manchester United's fans have been warned they must hit the club’s American owners in the pocket if they are to force a change of ownership at Old Trafford.
Andy Walsh, who helped to launch FC United in response to Malcolm Glazer’s buy-out in 2005, believes the champions have reached another pivotal point in their history. Walsh senses United’s rank-and-file supporters have reached breaking point, with the club being strangled by the kind of debts he once predicted.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust have orchestrated a Green and Gold campaign that harks back to United’s formative years as Newton Heath – and have seen their membership pass the 45,000 mark. And Walsh, who has never stepped inside Old Trafford since the takeover, said: “I said when the Glazers took over at United I wouldn’t give the club another penny – and I haven’t.
“I was not prepared to line the pockets of people who planned to do nothing more than pillage the club I love.
“I wasn’t the only one. Some of us helped to establish and support FC United, others just went to the pub to watch United matches and the money they used to spend on tickets was spent on buying a few pints instead.
“Fans who had been unable to buy tickets in the past took our places, but even that pool of support is drying up.
“One thing missing from the Glazers’ prospectus when they were looking to raise a £500m bond was that United now have 58,000 season-ticket holders. Last season it was 65,000. It’s been widely reported hospitality bookings are down, you can see empty seats inside Old Trafford – and that hits the Glazers.
“If people don’t renew this summer the owners’ business plan will really struggle.
“The match-going supporters have to take advantage by hitting them in the pocket – and I know some fans are talking about that as the next stage of the campaign.”