The Glazer Protests: Where Do They Go From Here?

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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12 Responses

  1. timbo says:

    So the thrust of your article means exactly what, Ian? You really don’t seem to know which side of the argument to hang your hat on.

    You also seem to be suggesting that it’s somewhat pointless to express an opinion when all seems lost anyway. That’s pretty defeatist, and also inaccurate. The Glazers’ may have delisted the club from the stock exchange, but they are highly vulnerable to the very people they are royally pissing off – the supporters. The green and gold scarves (Why just misplaced Norwich fans, when it could have been a throng of Aussies visiting the game?) are just the first signs of what will hopefully prove a wave of dissent that will oust the Americans through sheer financial desperation.

    United fans are faced with two choices. They can either sit back, accept the inevitable, and watch their beloved club die a slow and painful death under the aegis of the Glazer family, who to all intents and purposes are raping Old Trafford for the sake of their own pockets, or they can stand up and be counted by putting on a United front (pun intended) and assailing the Glazers in such a way that their financial hold on the club will collapse. To elaborate on your own point, every time a disgruntled United fan puts his bum on a seat at Old Trafford, every time he buys a team shirt or other merchandise, every time he pays to watch United online, and every time he indirectly buys a product from one of United’s sponsors, he is contributing money into the very coffers that keep the Glazers afloat and in control of our beloved club.

    It is a pointless exercise, though a noble one, for scattered individuals to make a stand by boycotting United games as a protest against the Glazers. What is really needed is for everyone, from fan clubs, MUST, online sites and all, to get together and organize major boycotts and protests against all things associated with the Glazers’ hold on United. Yes, it may hurt United in the short term, but it’s the team’s long term welfare that’s at stake. Better to act now and bring about a collapse of the Glazers’ financial structure at United while the club still holds its world-wide reputation and some kind of dollar value, rather than wait until the Glazers’ gut it by selling off Old Trafford, Carrington, and all the players of value, leaving behind a shell of a team little better off then where a once glorious Leeds now finds itself.

    Manchester United is at a crucial crossroads in its existence. Down one path lies despair and a trivialization of all that was once glorious about the club. Down another lies salvation through people power. It’s the same old story. As long as people sit around doing nothing, as long as a few die-hards put together sporadic and relatively futile gestures, nothing will happen. But if people who really love the club stopped for a moment to just realize what kind of absolute power they wield as a mass, the consequences could be astounding.

    How many weeks of an empty Old Trafford on game days do you think it would take before the Glazers’ initiated desperate talks to sell off the club before their finances collapsed? How much do you think their revenue streams would be affected if people stopped buying merchandise completely? How do you think the Americans are going to feel if supporters started boycotting the products of the club sponsors, even going so far as to write to them to let them know they’ll snub their products as long as the Glazers’ remain at Old Trafford?

    The power to bring about the desired change is there, if supporters but knew how much of it lies in their own hands bound together as one.

  2. Jonathan says:

    You could argue that had the FCUM contingent continued to take the fight to the Glazers rather than turning their attentions towards forming a new club within a matter of weeks of the takeover, the fan movement at Old Trafford would be in a much better position now than it ever could be.

    You could argue…

  3. graham wyche says:

    I disagree,let’s see Old Trafford full of green and gold.It will provide a peaceful message to all—— that UNITED fans are of one mind———GET THE GLAZERS OUT

  4. Brenton says:

    Something I’ve never understood about UK-based complaints about the modern game is the switching of kick-off times. Does it really matter if it’s 3pm or 5pm? or 1pm? Or 11am? You guys have the luxury of playing in one time zone, whereas in North America our games start at various hours depending on where they play. 5pm puck drop one game, 7:30pm the next game, maybe a 4pm later in the week. I wonder if you aren’t all mythologizing about a golden era of 3pm Saturday football, like it was somehow more perfect because it was played at the same time as last week.

  5. Jertzee says:

    Jonathan – yes you could argue that, but then you could argue that FCUM was the biggest protest possible

  6. Martin says:

    The fact that not many of Man United’s customers have chosen to become fans of and support FCUM tells you the biggest problem with English football: fans themselves.

    If only they understood just how powerful they actually are as they ultimately pay for EVERYTHING.

    It would be just the same at any other club too BTW.

  7. Martin says:

    If the Glazers are as clever as I think they are, they will have bought shares in the company making the green and yellow scarves already…

    It’s hard to see how their cancer can be removed from any club without almost killing the club in the process.

  8. Martin says:

    Jertz, indeed. Our experiences with peaceful protests against the MK move during 2001/02 shows just how utterly ineffectual they are.

    People like Koppel and the Glazers only understand one thing: money, and your choice to deprive them of yours.

  9. Jim says:

    The thing is, Brenton, unlike most Americans, we prefer to watch our football *at the ground* rather than on television. Most people – especially travelling away fans – are deeply inconvenienced by kick-offs at (eg) 12.45 to fit in with the lunchtime TV game or 5.15 for the early evening game.

    Football wants fans to fill her grounds, to create the ‘vibrant atmosphere’ so beloved of Andy Gray et al, and to pay the increasingly exorbitant ticket-prices (which have increased by over 1000% in the last 20 years – what other industry has suffered inflation of that order?); but the game still treats us as subordinate to the sprawling and fickle mass of couch-potatoes claiming allegiances to teams they never see in the flesh and support financially only through an annual purchase of a replica shirt. I fail to see why season-ticket holders should be inconvenienced for the benefit of TV viewers who contribute nothing to the club and nothing to the game. And before you start, yes, the game would be a great deal better off without the Sky millions. No Glazers, no Sheikhs, no Abramaovich for starters.

  10. Brenton says:

    I guess with the greater distances, there are no such things as traveling fans in North American sport, excepting a few places on the east coast. Jim, we also prefer to watch our teams at the ground, and we do when we can: sell-outs or at least mostly full stadia are the norm for most teams. Only a few shitty baseball teams and and some hockey teams in the south seem to worry about what the crowd is like. The other factor is that we don’t have the same depth of leagues.

  1. January 29, 2010

    […] for a more serious analysis of where United fans stand in the present Old Trafford crisis, we turn once again to Ian at Two Hundred Percent, who asks where the protest movement, now symbolised by “green and gold“, goes next: […]

  2. January 29, 2010

    […] The Glazer Protests: Where Do They Go From Here? “It was one of the stranger sights of the season, for sure. During the League Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Manchester City on Wednesday night, a large number of (what to the untrained eye may have appeared to have been) Norwich City supporters seemed to have infiltrated Old Trafford and were sitting in their seats, cheering on Alex Ferguson’s team. It was, of course, nothing of the sort.” (twohundredpercent) […]

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