At today’s Culture, Media and Sport questions in the house of Commons, Lib Dem spokesperson John Leech raised concerns about the takeover of Manchester United ten years ago by the Glazier family.
He asked Sports Minister Helen Grant: “This year is the 10th anniversary of the controversial Glazer family takeover at Man United, against the wishes of the vast majority of United fans, saddling the club with huge debts to pay for the takeover. Does the minister agree with me that football clubs and their fans need to be better protected from these predatory takeovers that can threaten the long term viability of our football clubs.”
John, who is a 30 year season ticket holder at City, is also a patron of the Manchester United Supporters Trust. He said today,
“When I opposed the Glazier takeover 10 years ago it was because I felt that football clubs should be better protected from individuals just out to make a profit, who appear to have no obvious commitment to the club. As a City supporter, it would be very easy for me not to care about the future of United, but football SHOULD be about the fans, not about the money, regardless of which team you support.”
John added, “The Liberal Democrats have a list of commitments to improve football for fans. They include allowing Safe Standing at premiership games, changing the law to make homophobic abuse be classified and punished in the same way as racist abuse, and to introduce a 5% levy on English and Scottish Premier League TV revenue to be used to fund the games grass roots. The package would also beef up the fit and proper persons rules for owners, and introduce a veto for supporters on a club changing its name, location, badge or home colours without their agreement.”