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Supporters Direct chief welcomes manifesto pledges on fan ownership.

By Nick Harris

13 April 2010

Dave Boyle, the chief executive of Supporters Direct, the organisation that works with football fans’ groups like to help them acquire shares and influence at their clubs, has today welcome the unprecedented inclusion in the Labour and Conservative election manifesto documents of proposals on supporter ownership.

Writing for sportingintelligence today on the importance of football in the election, Boyle also heaps praise on the campaigning work of the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) for forcing fan ownership onto the political agenda.

In Labour’s manifesto, launched yesterday, there is a pledge to “develop proposals to enable registered Supporters Trusts to buy stakes in their club”. This falls short of a leaked earlier claim that Labour will somehow legislate to allow fans to buy 25 per cent of clubs, but is nonetheless the first manifesto commitment of its kind.

In the Tory manifesto, launched today, the Conservatives promise “to reform the governance arrangements in football to enable co-operative ownership models to be established by supporters”.

Boyle says: “I’ve been reading manifesto documents for years and sport, let alone football, has never been an electoral issue before, so I’m delighted.” He adds in his column: “The job of organisations like Supporters Direct will be to urge that our politicians move as boldly in power as they have in the seeking of it.”

On the subject of MUST, Boyle believes that politicians from all parties, in what is shaping up to be the closest election of recent times, have been galvanised by United fans’ public appetite for change.

He writes: “A big part of the reason [that politicians are paying attention to fans now] is because of the Manchester United Supporters Trust. The astonishing and unprecedented growth of MUST has been impossible to miss, and takes the issues to an audience well beyond the usual suspects (like myself) who have been banging on about this stuff for years with seemingly minimal impact.

“MUST has profited from the anger of fans who have seen how little productive use their increasingly hard-earned, inflationary ticket money is being put to, and how much of United’s income is tied up in the payback for the Glazer takeover in 2005. The organisation has grown from 30,000 in January to more than 150,000 today as a result.

“The thousands who’ve worn green and gold scarves as the club has played a series of important televised matches means that for the first time, TV has not been unable to ignore the protests. Commentators were discussing the ins and outs of leveraged buyouts.”

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get to fekk with this pash, you believe what they chunts say at labour, anything for votes just like mr brown likes the artic monkeys lol

I think the point of the piece was that the Tories have added something to their manifesto too. Whether you believe them or not is irrelevant if it's in their manifesto then there will be some pressure on them to legislate for it whoever comes to power. It isn't what was suggested last week but it is a start.

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Dingwall, Smith and Edgar will have hard-ons at the very thought.

Dingwall in particular will be moist with anticipation at a new avenue enabling him to fleece and hoodwink the support.

Surely all the supporters groups will come together on this and present an united front for the good of the club??

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here we go again..... ding ding round three hunner and two...

I have never been an member of any of the supporters groups, so don't know much about them nor their history or if any distrust or dislike exists between them. Only what I read on the forums so forgive my ignorance on this subject.

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here we go again..... ding ding round three hunner and two...

I have never been an member of any of the supporters groups, so don't know much about them nor their history or if any distrust or dislike exists between them. Only what I read on the forums so forgive my ignorance on this subject.

Not getting at you mate, but every discussion regarding this has decended into farce with people from other forums coming on here slagging off RM!!

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I dont want a fans ownership, because what happens when we buy a player what do we pay, and At the end of the day the big calls that need to be made by the club, i.e new manager, will be made by the guy thats under-wrote the deal in the first place. So I would just prefer someone to come in, and buy it out right. (tu)

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