Fans' group to battle United over 'data theft'

Manchester United Supporters Trust are collecting a "fighting fund" for the possible legal defence of United supporter Thomas McKenna, who has been the subject of a legal writ from the club. McKenna published details online of United's corporate clients and the club are seeking damages through the High Court. Yesterday a club spokesman said their action was in defence of "data security" and that "doing nothing was not an option".

McKenna is an opponent of the Glazer family's ownership of United, as is the trust, whose chief executive, Duncan Drasdo, said yesterday that the supporters would stand in solidarity with McKenna. "United fans have always stood together when one of their number is attacked," he said, "and this situation should be no different – United we stand. We are collecting a fighting fund for the possible defence of any Manchester United supporter should the owners decide to pursue this aggressive litigation strategy while continuing to refuse to even talk to supporters."

United, however, are determined to pursue their legal action against McKenna. A spokesman said that the companies listed had sustained damage as a result of his actions and the club was obliged to act. United have asked the courts for damages from the 44-year-old, as well as asking that he return or destroy the information, and have sought an injunction to prevent him publishing the information again. Drasdo said that "it is hard to see what the point of this legal action is".

"The theft of data," a spokesman said, "led to some of the companies named on the list having their property attacked and suffering significant personal distress. The club has a duty to demonstrate to all our fans that we will not tolerate that and will take action against the perpetrators. We take data security very seriously. Doing nothing was not an option."

McKenna posted the information of Manchester United's clients in April last year, on a website that was linked with the anti-Glazer group United Supporters for Change.

The United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is to meet the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, in an attempt to resolve his long-running feud with the corporation. The meeting comes at the behest of the Premier League, and was arranged by its chairman, Sir Dave Richards.

Ferguson has not spoken to the BBC since 2004, when it broadcast a documentary about Ferguson's son Jason, then working as an agent. The United manager is fined by the Premier League every time he refuses to speak to the corporation, under new rules introduced this season. Ferguson has said he will speak to the BBC again only once it has apologised.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders