Manchester United have moved a step closer to setting up a fans’ share scheme that would give supporters a significant stake in the ownership of the club.
United have been in discussions with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust for more than a year after chairman Joel Glazer promised to set up the scheme as part of the club’s response to the failed European Super League.
United and MUST have finally come up with a set of proposals that have been held up by regulatory and legal complications. They were accepted by 99 per cent of voters in an exit poll following the first of several members’ meetings set up by MUST.
Manchester United fans have long been calling on the Glazers to deliver a fan share scheme
Joel Glazer promised to set up the scheme after the failed European Super League project
The ballot closes on August 9, and if the majority of members vote in favour of the proposals they will be put before the main Old Trafford board.
Under the scheme, fans shares would carry the same voting weight as the Glazer family’s B shares, with proceeds from share sales being reinvested in the club. The Glazers and other shareholders would not profit from the scheme.
MUST has been striving to revive the scheme since it was wiped out by the Glazers’ takeover of United in 2005. It wants to create the biggest fan shareholder movement in world football, and sees the current proposals as the first step towards that aim.
Although, MUST accepts the scheme will not change the Glazers’ majority holding, it believes this is a significant move towards a better ownership model.
The scheme would give fans shares the same voting weight as the Glazer family’s B shares
The news comes as the club prepares for a new Premier League season.
After a miserable season both on and off the field last year, United fans will be hoping the club can improve its fortunes under new manager Erik ten Hag.
In their quest to close the gap to the teams that finished above them last season, the club have brought in Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.
The likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard have all left the club.
United kick-start their season on Sunday against Brighton at Old Trafford.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust want to create the biggest fan shareholder movement in world football