Fans threaten Glazer's price rises plan

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The Independent Football

Malcolm Glazer's control of Manchester United could be weakened by fans disrupting his fragile financial plan, according to Shareholders United. Increased ticket prices are reportedly planned to compensate for huge loans needed for Glazer's takeover.

The American tycoon is expected to take United off the stockmarket and the fans' group hope he will then be forced to float the club again if payments cannot be met. Shareholders United believe supporters can affect areas of revenue. Spokesman Oliver Houston said: "This is just a business plan, it doesn't mean it will work. We will now see more people refusing to renew season tickets, more refusing to buy merchandise.

"If we prise away a million or a few million it could spell disaster. His attempts can be taken down one brick by one brick. One slip-up and it will be in the hands of the banks, not Glazer's decision. Other people will just be out-priced for a ticket, while not a penny spent will improve the club. It will all go to Glazer, who is treading water."

Houston believes increases in ticket prices would vindicate SU's fears: "Proposing a 61 per cent increase in match day sales, a 13 per cent rise in media sales, and 76 per cent increase in sales of merchandise and other commercial activities - there's more chance of flying on a space shuttle to the moon.

"[Chief executive] David Gill said the takeover would be damaging, and that is why [chairman] Sir Roy Gardner stood down from the board."

United fans are now planning more organised protests for next season, with an alternative kit being manufactured in the original colours of founders Newton Heath.