To buy the team, get the fans to boycott?

Jon Super/AP
A Manchester United supporter is seen with a scarf in the colours of the anti-Glazer movement before the team's English Premier League soccer match against Fulham at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 14. The American Glazer family who control the club are becoming increasingly unpopular with the fans who wear a green and yellow scarf in protest.

Following on from Skip's post a couple of weeks ago, the group of would-be Manchester United owners who call themselves the Red Knights have retained Nomura as their advisers in launching a takeover and they have now called for season ticket holders not to renew this summer. I would imagine that the Glazers could take some kind of legal action faced with this threat, but they seem to be choosing a softly, softly approach, believing that either (a) this process will flush out a bid so high that they can't refuse (they have retained an investment bank to advise them on incoming bids) or (b) these tactics will discredit the Red Knights in the eyes of true fans. Interestingly the Red Knights promise that those who didn't take up their season tickets will be able to take them up if the Red Knights gain control, but it's difficult to see how this can be guaranteed (what if the Glazers manage to sell the season tickets to someone else?). In the end it seems to come down to this: can the Red Knights persuade enough fans to engage in an economic boycott of the club so that the financial position of the Glazers becomes perilous enough that they are forced to sell out? This sounds like a revolution, but the Red Knights should beware; revolutions frequently devour their own children.

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