We’ve been banging on here about the fact the news of Man Utd’s much trumpeted record profits does not mean supporters should be glad the Glazers took over their team. David Conn, writing in the Guardian, reports that the ticket price rises — “United’s average ticket price has increased 11% in each of the two season” — reneges on a promise made by the Glazers to the British government during the takeover.
In written advice to the then sports minister, Richard Caborn, in July 2005, released by the government after a request by a United supporter under the Freedom of Information Act, an unnamed civil servant, believed to be a senior adviser in the department for culture, media and sport, wrote that “the Glazers … have indicated that ticket prices will not be raised”. Summarising the background to the takeover, the adviser said that in meetings in early July 2005 with the FA, Premier League and government “the Glazers took the opportunity to offer reassurances … that ticket prices will not automatically rise”.
That advice on ticket prices, combined with the Glazers’ promise to keep United within the Premier League’s collective arrangement to sell TV rights and to make “significant funds” available to buy players, persuaded Caborn not to push for a “public interest” rule.
The Glazers deny this, but the government remains dissatisfied, with the then Sports Minister Richard Caborn saying he was “very disappointed” with United’s actions.
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