[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Man Utd fans to keep up campaign
Banner protesting at Malcolm Glazer's takeover
United fans are angry at Malcolm Glazer's takeover of the club
Nearly 2,000 Manchester United fans have vowed at a public rally to continue fighting the club's new majority owner, Malcolm Glazer.

The meeting, organised by the "Not For Sale" coalition of supporters groups and fanzine editors, was held at the Apollo Theatre in Ardwick, Manchester.

Before Monday's rally, groups of fans gathered outside waving banners and singing anti-Glazer songs.

US tycoon Mr Glazer already has 76% of the Premiership club.

That is enough for private ownership, but he should see that figure rise as shareholders sell ahead of a 13 June deadline.

Many of the club's supporters are also shareholders and have pledged to keep their stakes in opposition to the takeover.

We have got to use today as a stepping stone to make sure we build something positive
Manchester Central MP and Reds fan Tony Lloyd

The options were boycotting United's commercial partners, lobbying football authorities and politicians, targeting Mr Glazer's business partners, and helping the shareholders' legal fight to frustrate the businessman.

They were also sold "Not For Sale" red and white wristbands and urged to sign up for a breakaway club, FC United.

The Not For Sale coalition is made up of the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, Shareholders United and the fanzines Red Issue, United We Stand and Red News.

Andy Walsh, from the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association, chairing the two hour rally, sent a message to Mr Glazer, saying: "We mean business."

Malcolm Glazer
Malcolm Glazer has bought a controlling stake in the club

Mr Walsh, standing in front of a huge "No customers, no profit" banner, said: "You won't get a penny off anyone in this room and we will make sure you don't get a penny off any football fan.

"If you think that by dragging this out for months it will make us go away, you have got another thing coming."

He read out a quote from United legend Eric Cantona, who said he was "angry" with what was happening and thought the club was a "mess".

The Frenchman said: "I can't stand it that an American is arriving not knowing anything of the game. I'm sure money will become the only important thing."

The supporters, with hardly a piece of official United merchandise in sight, clapped and cheered every speaker.

Manchester Central MP and Reds fan Tony Lloyd said the club belonged to the supporters.

He said: "This football club is something that goes a long way beyond money.

"I'm devastated about the fact that someone can come along and say this is all mine.

"We have got to use today as a stepping stone to make sure we build something positive."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific