Football

Unsurprisingly, Brian Kerr Has Spoken Brilliantly On The Man United Fan Protests

Unsurprisingly, Brian Kerr Has Spoken Brilliantly On The Man United Fan Protests

The protest from Manchester United supporters last weekend have opened up a larger debate in the world of football.

After a couple of decades of ultra capitalisation in the sport, supporters at some of the biggest teams in England seem to have finally had enough of billionaire owners using their clubs as cash cows.

Manchester United are the prime example of this dynamic, with the Glazer family using the club to fill their pockets while putting none of their own money in.

The supporters have had enough and you can understand why.

Speaking on Virgin Media this evening, Brian Kerr summed up the issues that have angered Manchester United fans. He also said the protests could have a big impact by hitting the Glazers where it matters most: their pockets.

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What these powerful owners have done is use the supporters to extract the maximum from [supporters] financially by increasing season ticket prices, the price of the merchandise, the promotion of the merchandise, food stuff and so on around the ground on match days.

They've maximised the income from other sources around the world, and that's what the Glazers have done very successfully, but they've also used up £1.5billion since the come into the club in 2005 on paying back the interest on the debt without investing any money into it whatsoever.

The other big issue, and it seems to be a fairly obvious deterioration in the quality of the stadium itself...

I think this is going to a rude awakening. Even though they are based in Tampa, I think the messages are going to get across to the people they have working for them within the English game and the messages will get through to them that they've got to listen to the supporters.

They cannot afford to have what happened last weekend on a regular basis, or they can't afford to have the supporters get stuck into the sponsors, which is the next course of action that the supporters groups have already started taking.

They've been getting in touch with 50 different sponsors and telling them that they're going to boycott their products and protest against their companies. That will have a major impact on the club if those sponsors start having second thoughts about supporting Manchester United and putting money in.

If that's the way the fan bases go, those companies won't want that sort of trouble and the owners won't want that sort of trouble. Many people they are too distant from it, but I think they'll be affected by it.

Damie Delaney held a similar view, believing the fans are tired of being treated as an afterthought at the club.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.

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Gary Connaughton

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