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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 October, 2004, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Man Utd fans fear Glazer motives
Manchester United fans have reacted with anger to the news that US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer has increased his shareholding in the club.

Andy Walsh, secretary of the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, is suspicious of Glazer's motives.

"Glazer has never been to Manchester and he is not wanted," he said.

"We can only speculate about his motives but we don't believe any of them will benefit our football club."

Walsh continued: "We were told his attempt to buy the club had fallen through but clearly this is an attempt to outmuscle the major shareholders.

"If he got his way, individual television deals and a European Super League would be even closer to being realised and we will not allow that to happen."

Glazer raised his stake in the club after talks with Irish race horse owners John Magnier and JP McManus - owners of 28.9% of the club - had broken down.

United announced there had been "no definitive proposal" of a takeover bid but refused to rule out one in the future.

If the structure of the club and the shares remain as they are, a takeover will always be a danger
Shareholder United spokesman Oliver Houston

Another of the club's supporters' groups has made a plea to the club's board to help them stave off any takeover bids.

Shareholders United spokesman Oliver Houston told BBC Sport: "It's not a time for fans to rest on their laurels.

"We want the board to help us put 25% of the shares in the hands of fans so we can effectively block any takeover.

"The fact is, this is not about Malcolm Glazer, it's about Manchester United and the fans.

"Nearly 50% of the club's shares are owned by just two parties - Glazer and Cubic Expression owned by JP McManus and John Magnier, and that is the road to instability.

"We are determined to put our message across. If the structure of the club and the shares remain as they are, there's always going to be a danger.

"We want the 18% of the shares that are owned by the fans to come under the Shareholders United umbrella, and we want the board to help us get that other 7%.

"We want what's best for the club, that's obvious. If the fans were a major shareholder they wouldn't be chasing massive dividends from the board and always hassling them.

"Any money the club makes we would want to go into buying new players, making Old Trafford better and improving the youth academy."

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