Manchester United news

Gill: United right to snub fan groups

March 8, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has defended the club's decision to snub various fan organisations that were "at war with the owners''.

David Gill
GettyImagesMan United chief David Gill: Not on speaking terms with the Manchester United Supporters Trust

Gill said the board were correct in refusing to hold talks with groups such as the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) because their primary goal was to oust the Glazer family from Old Trafford.

MUST and other fans groups are angry at the way the American owners have plunged a previously profitable club into debt and then used the club's turnover to service the half a billion pound deficit.

Gill insisted on Tuesday the board took full account of the concerns of other supporters, with whom they held three to four meetings each year. But he insisted MUST would continue to be excluded "unless they change their objective''.

"We are not going to engage in structured dialogue with organisations like that,'' Gill told a House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into football governance. "I don't think it's appropriate. They are at war with the owners.''

Gill went on to insist that the Glazers are doing a commendable job, highlighting United's seven major trophy wins since the family's purchase of the club in 2005.

"Not everyone hates the owners," Gill added on Sky Sports News. "They're well-organised. They're very domestic.

"We've done studies that show we have 333 million followers from around the world. We get thousands of emails, we got 36,000 phone calls last month.

"(Look at) the success we've delivered on the pitch in the last five years - seven trophies since they've taken over.

"A lot of the fans want to ensure that there's money to be spent on the team, that they come to a safe, modern stadia, that (United) play exciting, attractive football. And I think we've delivered on those accounts."

And Gill defended the foreign ownership - the Glazers are American - of Premier League clubs.

"Passport is not an issue,'' he said. "You can have very bad English owners, very bad British owners.''

He also backed the Glazers' refusal to communicate directly with United fans, claiming they had delegated himself and manager Sir Alex Ferguson to do so.