Manchester United backer slams club for ‘damaging reputation’ of Super League fiasco
One of Manchester United’s biggest supporters has criticized the club for inflicting “damage to its reputation” following last month’s thwarted plan to establish a European Super League.
Nick Train, who manages UK equity fund Lindsell Train, has expressed concern in face-to-face meetings with representatives of the controlling Glazer family as discontent over the proposals rumbles.
Lindsell Train owns 27% of the New York-listed Class A shares of United, representing around 7% of the club, while he also owns a significant stake in Juventus, which have yet to come out of the breakaway , and Celtic, which was not involved.
Train wrote in its monthly report to investors: “The announcement of the European Super League (‘ESL’) breakaway in April surprised us.
“In response, we asked and have now had meetings with all three clubs (including Celtic, even though they were not an ESL member).
“At these meetings we have expressed our disappointment at the reputational damage Juventus and Manchester United have inflicted upon themselves.
“We asked for clarification on their position regarding ESL going forward. Most importantly, we urged them to resume respectful negotiations with all members of the football community to work for mutually beneficial ends.
“We continue to closely monitor events as they unfold, while considering their implications for our investment case.”
Lindsell Train’s concerns echo those of some of the club’s business partners, including reports that the Adidas kit sponsors were disappointed that they had not been notified in advance of the proposals.
United fans have vowed to continue their protests against the Glazer family when fans are allowed to return to Old Trafford for the club’s last home game of the season against Fulham on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, United’s game against Liverpool was postponed after fans invaded Old Trafford ahead of the scheduled kick-off, while protests continued outside the stadium in the revamped game of this week.