Jeremy Wilson reports…
Andy Mitten, who has edited the United We Stand fanzine since 1989, said that protests were a culmination of frustrations which date back 16 years and called for urgent legislation to reform English football.
Mitten told 5 Live: “Its been a long time coming. The roots of it were sowed in 2005 when the Glazer family took over Manchester United. The descent has ebbed and flowed since then.
The vast majority protested peacefully and passionately. They feel downtrodden and they do not have a voice.
“There needs to be reform in English football. Takeovers like that shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Not just at Manchester United but at any football club.
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“A highly leveraged takeover was allowed to happen. It borrowed against the club, it borrowed against the asset and Manchester United fans have paid off over £1.5 billion in interest to finance the debts and the loans which the Glazer family took. The fans feel that money could have gone into improving the team. There’s no trust.”
Mitten believes that a new model, which allows fans a significant say in running football clubs, is now realistic.
“I don’t think it’s pie in the sky when Boris Johnson talked about bombshell legislation and a review of football,” he said. “That review should be fan-led. It should be independent.
“There are people who own clubs, who pass fit and proper person’s tests and they are not fit and proper. You have clubs going to the wall and struggling. Look at the fortunes in recent years of Bolton, Bury, Macclesfield Town, Wigan Athletic.
“It should not be allowed to happen. Football needs to be better.”
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