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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June, 2005, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Man Utd owners make TV deal vow
WHO WAS AROUND THE TABLE?
Joel, Bryan and Malcolm Glazer
New board members Joel, Bryan and Avi Glazer
Joel says: "This has been an invaluable chance to tell the men who run the game what the truth is
FA's Geoff Thompson, Brian Barwick and David Davies
Barwick says: "We enjoyed a very constructive meeting"
Premier League's Richard Scudamore
Scudamore says: "On selling of television rights we received unequivocal commitment to continue on current basis"
Sports minister Richard Caborn
Caborn says: "I'm reassured on collective selling of Premier League TV rights"
Manchester United's new owners have promised to stick to the current collective selling of TV rights.

There were fears Malcolm Glazer would try to strike a solo deal which would mean less for other Premiership clubs.

But at their first meeting with the game's leading figures, Glazer's three sons said the status quo would remain.

"On the matter of collective selling, we've got an unequivocal commitment to continue on the current basis," said Premier League boss Richard Scudamore.

Joel, Bryan and Avi Glazer spent 90 minutes talking through their business plan at FA headquarters in Soho Square on Wednesday.

The Glazers agreed to the unusual meeting in an attempt to allay fears sparked by their controversial 790m takeover.

Fans were concerned Glazer senior would raise ticket prices to pay off some of the large debt borrowed to mount the deal.

"There's been a lot in the UK press about us in the last 18 months and this has been an invaluable chance to tell the men who run the game what the truth is," said Joel Glazer.

"I hope they are reassured by our experience in sport."

Joel Glazer said the family had "a passion to keep Manchester United successful", a message welcomed by Sports Minister Richard Caborn, who was also at the meeting.

"There's been a considerable amount of concern among organised fans groups and our discussion reflected that," said Caborn.

"But there's no shortage of enthusiasm for the task ahead. I'm reassured of the conversation on collective selling of Premier League TV rights and their experience in sport in the US."

Scudamore said there had been an "an open exchange" where the Glazers "detailed their motives and aspirations" while the football authorities shared their strategic objectives.

FA chief Brian Barwick welcomed what had been "the first opportunity" to meet the new owners.

"It's important that the FA understands the objectives and future plans they have for a club of the stature of United," he said.

"We enjoyed a very constructive meeting in which the Manchester United officials addressed the many important questions we had to ask them."

Malcolm Glazer

On Tuesday, Glazer senior, who owns US football team Tampa Bay Buccaneers, took his holding in United to 98%, which means he can de-list the Old Trafford club from the stock exchange and compulsorily purchase the five million shares not yet under his control.

Meanwhile, pressure group Shareholders United is urging fans to place the money they receive for their shares from Glazer into a fighting fund.

The 'Phoenix Fund' will then be used to buy the club back from Glazer one day, according to the group.

"While the Glazers may be making private assurances they are yet to say anything publicly and we should remember that nothing they say publicly is legally binding anyway," said Trust spokesman Oliver Houston.




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