On the 52nd anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, which took the lives of eight first team players and three members of United’s coaching staff, the fight for the club’s history and survival off the pitch made the biggest impact.
Last month, Manchester United’s owners completed a bond issue, raising the £500 million investment they sought to get United’s spiraling debts under control as well as announcing plans to sell and rent back United’s Carrington training ground, in order to raise additional income.
As United coasted to a 5-0 victory over Portsmouth, Old Trafford was filled with supporters twirling green and gold bar scarves, in protest of the Glazer families ownership of the club.
In three weeks, the green and gold campaign has been endorsed by the Manchester United Supporter’s Trust and fanzines such as: United We Stand and Red News, who are selling green and gold merchandise for fans to purchase online.
The Manchester United Supporters Trust have been selling green and gold bar scarves and hats from market stalls on match days, at various locations around Old Trafford , and from the Trust’s office’s in Stretford, with all proceeds going straight back into the campaign, in a bid to raise enough money to consider the possibility of buying out the Glazer family.
Andrew MacMillan, a life-long Manchester United fan and member of both, the Red Issue fanzine and the Manchester United Supporters Trust said: “The campaign is progressing well as far as the true fans go, however, there could still be a lot more green and gold on match days.”
“It seems that a lot of people going to the games don’t understand the importance of getting behind the protests and making Old Trafford a sea of green and gold.”
In order to spread the message, Andrew has set up a Facebook page entitled: ‘Get Glazer Out’ that so far has over 1,000 members and is rising steadily each day.
The green and gold campaign has recently attracted the interest of wealthy supporters of the club.
A group of 50 wealthy United fans have asked Keith Harris, head of Seymour Pierce, an investment bank that has been involved in the takeovers of four English Premier League clubs, to explore the options of a takeover bid.
The group, currently going under the’ Red Knights’ moniker are also working alongside the Manchester United Supporters Trust in order to make the takeover plan a reality.
“I’ll be praying for a Red Knights take over”, said Andrew, echoing the sentiments of many United fans.
Although the green and gold campaign is in the early stages, the Manchester United hierarchy have been cracking down on fans inside Old Trafford who support the green and gold campaign.
Granville Boden, 53 who worked as a steward at Old Trafford for 19 years was sacked for attempting to give back a banner to a fan that read “Love United, Hate Glazer” after it was seized by Boden before kick-off , during the home match against Burnley on January 16th.
“Actions like this are really making me question the clubs integrity”, said Andrew, who was in attendance at Old Trafford when the incident took place.
“When the Glazer’s first took over a fan made a comment while Fergie was walking to the dugout about the debt that the club had been saddled with.”
“Fergie’s response was to him was to, ‘Go and support Chelsea if you don’t like what’s happening’, which in my view is a disgusting way to treat the fans of the club.”
Bill Meredith, an ex-season ticket holder at Old Trafford is also promoting the campaign, setting up an online blog entitled, ‘United Emither’.
“The blog provides a list of targets and guilty parties fit for internet and email based campaigning in support of fan rights and supporter democracy”, said Billy.
Currently the blog is targeting Controlled Event Solutions security firm in light of allegations over security staffs: “aggressive behavior towards United fans at Old Trafford.”
As the green and gold campaign is continuing to gather momentum, Andrew believes that green and gold will become a permanent fixture at both home and away matches until the Glazer’s are gone from Old Trafford.
“A spokesman for the Glazer’s has said they are not interested in selling but we are not interested in them staying. Given a generous enough offer those greedy American swine’s will accept and then the club can begin to be dictated by the fans.”