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Friday, April 9, 1999 Published at 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK

BSkyB failure 'a victory for fanpower'

Fans have greeted news of the failed bid with celebration

The blocking of BSkyB's £626m bid to buy Manchester United has been hailed as "a victory for fanpower" by supporters of the club.

BBC Sport correspondent Gordon Farquar: "This will send shockwaves throughout the footballing world"
Trade and Industry secretary Stephen Byers announced the decision on Friday, after the Government completed their study of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the offer.

News of the media company's failure quickly spread throughout the footballing world, with fans immediately voicing their relief that Rupert Murdoch's company had been stopped from purchasing the world's largest club.

Murdoch's big match
Andy Mitton from the supporters organisation, United We Stand, which campaigned against BSkyB's offer, said he was relieved the decision had gone their way.

'The right decision'

Andy Mitton: "The fans played a huge part in this" (BBC Radio 5 Live)
"I think a lot of United fans will be happy that the bid has been rejected," he said.

"And full credit to the Independent United Supporters association and also the Shareholders United Against Murdoch.

[ image: Manchester United: So big it has it's own TV station]
Manchester United: So big it has it's own TV station
"They fought this bid in an articulate and a progressive manner.

"Manchester united fans should be proud that they stuck up for our rights, and speaking for myself, I'm glad the bid has been rejected.

"I think it's the sensible decision and I think it's the right decision."

Mitton said the government's decision to turn down BSkyB's offer was clearly a victory for the fans who had campaigned so hard against the offer.

"It's definitely a victory for fanpower.

"People were sceptical at first, but they've got the right people on board - the right legal advice and orchestrated a successful media campaign.

"And now they're reaping the rewards, the bid's been rejected."

Docherty: 'I'm delighted'

Former United manager, Tommy Docherty, added his name to the list of relieved supporters, saying: "I'm absolutely delighted and the fans will be too.

Tommy Docherty: "A good result for football" (BBC Radio 5 Live)
"A football club belongs to football supporters - not to companies.

"Fans around the world will be celebrating, not only in Manchester, but in Zambia, Tokyo and Germany.

"And they'll all be thrilled to bits I'm sure.

"My main concern was that BSkyB would run football - and they're not football people."

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