Gary Neville demands prospective buyers to issue manifesto to Manchester United fans

Gary Neville has urged candidates who want to buy Manchester United to deliver a manifesto to fans.

That way we will know their clear intentions for owning the club in the future, while the idea that fans will have any say in the outcome is improbable.

The Glazers intend to sell United to the biggest bidder and they face competition from Fenway Sports Group. Like the Glazers, FSG won’t care who owns the club in the future once they see the money. They don’t have an emotional attachment to these clubs like the fans.

However, Neville has demanded that any prospective buyer must present a manifesto to the club’s supporters. It would be a good move — to seek reactions from the fans — but if they are anything like the Glazers they won’t care about interaction with us.

Neville has spoken out against both US investment and state ownership in Premier League clubs – and United are set to attract interest from a variety of business backgrounds. They will all have different agendas in their quest to buy the biggest football club in the world.

“I think what Manchester United fans need to see is a manifesto from the new owners,” Neville told Sky Sports“Manchester United can’t be handing over to an owner that basically screams against what the club stands for or what the club wants. So there are manifesto pledges that I think are really important – like the fan voice, the fan experience, and maybe even positions for fans on the board.

“But the sporting project needs to improve. What is it going to be? Are the new owners not going to take dividends? Are they going to make sure it’s a debt-free football club and that they’re re-investing? Maybe there’s a new stadium that needs to be built or a new training ground.

“These are pledges I can think of off the top of my head that are really important for anybody bidding for Manchester United. It’s a manifesto that needs to be put forward so that the fans can understand.

“There are going to be many bids in the many billions and I think if the Glazers want to exit in the right way, it would be to sell it to a party that isn’t only the highest bidder, but if they can get parties near the end to get to a figure they like, then it would be very nice for them to put something forward to the season-ticket holders.

“Because the reality of it is, if the Glazers want to do this right, they have to make sure the club is going to a party whereby the fans don’t believe they’re being lumped with another owner they don’t like.”

Neville also mentions the importance of having a football regulator in place before a takeover takes place.

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