Manchester United supporters opposed to the Glazer family’s ownership are targeting the club’s commercial partners in the latest escalation of protest and direct action.
In a letter to club sponsors titled ‘#NotAPennyMore’, an anonymous group of anti-Glazer fans described United’s commercial partners as “legitimate targets” in their campaign for a change of ownership at the top of the club.
“Manchester United fans will boycott your products, seek to tarnish your brands and support your competitors until you terminate yur commercial partnerships with the Glazer family,” the letter reads.
TeamViewer, the software company which will appear on the front of United’s shirts from next season after striking a £235m five-year deal, has been forced to take action after a flood of negative reviews on the consumer website Trustpilot.
“As commercial partners of the Glazer family, you are legitimate target of the global fanbase because the combined £279m per annum you pay will not go towards investment in the squad to compete with the best clubs United now trail,” the letter reads.
“It will not go towards refurbishing Old Trafford or training facilities, both now so outdated they have become a symbol for Glazer disinterest.”
The move to boycott sponsors follows the protests outside Old Trafford and the team’s hotel on Sunday, which were sparked by the club’s involvement in plans to join the breakaway European Super League and caused the Premier League meeting with Liverpool to be postponed.
Supporters are expected to hold further protests between now and the end of the season, while manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be asked about the protests for the first time on Wednesday while previewing United’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Roma.
The Glazers completed a £790m leveraged takeover of United in 2005, with the majority of the funds coming from loans, many of which were secured against the previoulsy debt-free club’s assets.
More than £1bn has been spent on servicing the takeover debt and dividend payments over the past 16 years, even though United’s net debt remains at £455m according to the club’s most recent set of financial accounts.
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