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jamesp_1927
14-05-2005, 10:22 AM
Manchester United fans are plotting a campaign of defiance against Malcolm Glazer's 790m takeover of the club.
The American tycoon, who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American football team, has 74.81% of shares but needs 75% to take United into private ownership.

Campaign group Shareholders United has urged supporters to stop buying club merchandise and the products of sponsors, such as Vodafone and Nike.

Protests are expected at Sunday's match with Southampton and the FA Cup final.

Debt fears

Supporters say the club will be saddled with huge debts as Mr Glazer plans to borrow 265m, set against the club's assets, to help fund the takeover.

He will raise another 275m by issuing securities, but this debt will not be held against the club's assets, and 272m of his own cash, in the form of United equity already owned by him.

What we have to do is affect revenue streams

Sean Bones, Shareholders United
NFL to probe Glazer's bid


Glazer's US empire


Sean Bones, of Shareholders United, said the planned boycott of merchandise was an attempt to devalue the brand and hit future profits.

Supporters already own an estimated 18% of the club and have tried to secure financial backing from Japanese bank Nomura to buy more shares to block his attempt to delist the club.

Mr Bones said: "What we have to do is affect revenue streams. We need to stop people buying merchandise or anything related to the sponsorship of the club."

'Thick-skinned'

He said the American was "a thick-skinned guy to try and take over a club where 93% of the customers, the supporters of the club, are against him".

The man expected to take charge of the club - Mr Glazer's son Joel - claims to be an "avid" Manchester United fan.

TIMELINE OF A TAKEOVER
March 2003 - Glazer buys 2.9% stake in club
March 2004 - Glazer says he has "no current intention" of making a bid
June 2004 - Glazer's stake in club nears 20%
October 2004 - United confirms bid approach from Glazer, as his stake nears 30%
November 2004 - Glazer ousts three directors from United's board
December 2004 -Glazer makes revised bid
February 2005 - He makes new bid approach, valuing United at 800m, the club later opens its books to the tycoon
14 April 2005 - Glazer moots 800m bid for club
28 April 2005 - Takeover Panel sets 17 May deadline for Glazer to announce whether he intends to buy United
12 May 2005 - Glazer launches formal takeover bid for United after upping his stake in the club to almost 57%

He said: "Our intention is to work with the current management, players and fans. We are long-term sports investors and avid Manchester United fans."

Former Tottenham owner Sir Alan Sugar said he felt Mr Glazer had paid a "very, very full price" for United.

"I can't see from my point of view why it is such a good business deal," he said.

The entrepreneur told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: " I am enthralled, I'm intrigued. I want to see where I am missing the point, because at the moment I am missing the point."

Mr Glazer has already bought the 28.7% stake of Irish racing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier.

Once he has raised 75% or more, he can rewrite the company's articles - effectively giving him carte blanche to run the company as he wants.

If he can get 90% of the stock, he can make a compulsory purchase and scoop up the other 10% of the club's shares.

Mars_
14-05-2005, 10:38 AM
Well done you fans!

shaggy
14-05-2005, 10:52 AM
this is disasterous for fooite, all he wants is money and doesnt care about the club whatsoever, man u will become a second rate team with him as they have no debt but when he takes over the will have about 265million of debt.