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Result: Sport finance analyst expects Man Utd owners to remain "stubborn"

:Headline: Result: Sport finance analyst expects Man Utd owners to remain 'stubborn':
A planned protest on Sunday escalated into violence, with the scheduled Premier League match against Liverpool subsequently postponed.
Sports Mole

Manchester United fans should expect a stubborn response from the club’s American owners to their recent protests, an analyst has warned.

What started as a peaceful protest against the Glazer family on Sunday ahead of the match against Liverpool at Old Trafford escalated into criminal behaviour on the part of a small minority, with the game subsequently postponed.

Supporters have since written to co-chairman Joel Glazer to warn of continued lawful protests if steps are not taken to give them a louder voice and a greater say in how the club are run.

But Dr Dan Plumley of the Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University believes American owners have a history of being thick-skinned, and have been prepared to upset entire states in the past.

“One thing we know from history with American involvement in football clubs – and we’ve seen it at Arsenal – they do stand their ground, they are pretty stubborn,” he told the PA news agency.

“That is rooted in the way their sports are run. (Arsenal owner) Stan Kroenke picked up the Rams (NFL team) and moved them (from St Louis to Los Angeles) and nobody can tell you you can’t.

“You upset a full state by moving it, but if you’re prepared to do that then you can do it – you’re the owner. That’s just not the English model and that’s been the cause of the friction over the last few weeks.”

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has urged the Glazers to adopt a four-point plan, which includes the immediate appointment of independent directors to the board “whose sole purpose is to protect the interest of the club as a football club, not its shareholders”.

A fan-led review was launched in response to the attempted European Super League breakaway which involved United and five other English clubs, plus three each from Italy and Spain. The ESL plans quickly collapsed, but the review will look at the governance of the game and ways in which supporters can have a greater influence on the running of their clubs.

Plumley believes even the opening of communication lines between clubs and their supporters’ trusts would be a “first foot in the door” and does not believe the 50+1 model in German football could be “reverse-engineered” into the English game.

Former sports minister Tracey Crouch has been appointed to oversee the fan-led review of football (PA)

He accepts it may be too late for even opening up communication to ease the situation at United now, and certainly a number of the protesters on Sunday made it clear they wanted the Glazers out of the club.

Forbes Magazine valued the club at US dollars 4.2billion (just over £3billion) last month, making it an asset within the reach of only the super-rich.

Plumley added: “There’s a potential for this sort of protest to cause damage to the valuation of the club. The angle is to hurt the Glazers in the pocket, but it won’t do too much, to be brutally honest.”

Greater Manchester Police said on Tuesday afternoon Michael Anthony James Cusker, 28, had been charged with throwing fireworks in a street, use of threatening behaviour and wilful obstruction of the highway following the weekend’s protest outside The Lowry Hotel.

Cusker, of Winstanley Road, Manchester, was bailed to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on May 25.

The force spokesman said the incident had been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to “ensure complete transparency and independence”.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City37275577294886
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd372110671422973
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds37166155753454
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Southampton37128174763-1644
14Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton37814153743-638
RFulham37512202651-2527
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City37275577294886
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd372110671422973
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds37166155753454
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Southampton37128174763-1644
14Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton37814153743-638
RFulham37512202651-2527
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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