The Socialist 26 May - 1 June 2005, paper of the SP in England and Wales
Kick the fat cats out of football
OVER 500 Manchester United fans crowded into a public meeting in Manchester on 19 May. They were united by their hatred of US-based billionaire Malcolm Glazer and his takeover plans. They believe their solidarity can reclaim a club they've always seen as belonging to them.
Steve North, Manchester Socialist Party
The fans came to discuss the way to fight not just against Glazer, but against all profit-hungry fat cats who see football as just a way to make money. These fans, who live and breathe United, have had enough of corporate tampering with THEIR club.
Glazer's hostile takeover sparked a feeling of togetherness that in time can lead to victory. Supporters swore never to purchase any product or merchandise that would directly or indirectly furnish Glazer's pocket, and promised to use direct protest to bring their message to Vodafone, Nike, Budweiser and the other vultures who hope for rich pickings from the club.
We support the boycott and all mass protests called by fans' organisations. Through democratic, one-member one vote, groups like Shareholders United supporters pledge to undermine corporate dominance by producing their own merchandise - wrist-bands, flags, T-shirts - with every penny going back into the struggle.
Glazer's takeover was based on fans continuing to buy Nike, Vodafone and Budweiser. If fans don't do that, he'll be in trouble! When he fails, the fans' groups will be there with the money and the will to take back the club and run it for supporters and the wider community. Barcelona have done it, they say, so can United!
If the fans of one of the world's best-known corporate bodies can bring that body under democratic control - to be run for the members not the profiteers - what message will that send to all those fighting for true working-class democracy, not just in their football clubs, but in their workplaces, their communities, their countries?
Boycott the sponsors!
Build mass organised resistance to Glazer!
Kick the fat cats out of football!