Manchester United and Liverpool fans have set aside their long-standing rivalry to demand stricter ownership rules for English clubs..
With both clubs currently for sale, their major fan groups have issued a joint statement urging government ministers to include a stringent club owners and directors test in a forthcoming white paper.
Draft football governance legislation is expected to be published next month, with the proposal of a new independent regulator for the English game.
The announcement comes after months of negotiations between Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) and Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly (SOS)..
Both groups want more supporter input into how their clubs are run, as well as tougher safeguards against unfit owners..
MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo and SOS chairman Joe Blott say in a joint statement: ‘By common consent, our clubs are the biggest in English football and, with a combined global fanbase of over 200 million people, they are widely recognized global institutions – in fact, perhaps two of the most well-known British institutions worldwide.
‘That global profile will likely attract many potential bidders, including some whose primary motivations may not respect either the cultural heritage of our clubs or the values and interests of supporters..
We believe the government should prioritize this issue.
Just as the government would not allow our most valuable cultural or heritage assets to fall into the hands of unfit or improper people, it should not allow our football clubs to do the same..
The statement goes on to welcome proposals for a new independent football regulator, but expresses concern that it will not be implemented quickly enough.
‘Manchester United and Liverpool fans are the most fierce rivals,’ the statement continues. If we can band together for a common cause, we believe the Government will find a way to ensure that its intended Independent Regulator for English Football (IREF) and stronger ownership rules are implemented in time to protect the future of our two clubs.’
In November, the Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005, hired merchant bank Raine Group to find investors in order to sell the club.
According to Sportsmail, the Glazers will not negotiate their world record £6 billion asking price..
It comes after Ineos, the petrochemical conglomerate owned by one of Britain’s wealthiest men, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, formally announced last week that they are investigating a potential deal.
Protests by supporters against the Glazers have become more common in recent months.
Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owner, also announced late last year that they were considering selling their stake in the club.
Both American owners were instrumental in six Premier League clubs breaking away to join the European Super League in 2021.
They caved in the face of massive fan protests, forcing the postponement of a Man United vs. Liverpool match at Old Trafford in May 2021..
Leave a Reply