Fans of UK’s Manchester United FC are planning a boycott of season tickets in the summer to try to force the club’s owners to leave. The drastic move is a protest at the actions of the American managers, the Glazer family, who have put the club more than £700 million in debt.
United have already seen season-ticket sales fall from 65,000 to 58,000 this season due to the economic climate and they can ill-afford any further downturn. A boycott will hit the Glazers because their business plan relied on them cranking up ticket prices and extracting more cash from supporters.
Outside of the UK, the Glazer family also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last month, the Glazers had to raise £500m in a bond issue to help repay hedge fund loans they took out to buy the club. Fans were alarmed that the bond prospectus allowed the Glazers to transfer £127m into their parent company in the first year.
There is also concern that only a small part of the world record £80m transfer received for Cristiano Ronaldo last summer has been invested in new players.