One of Manchester United’s biggest supporters has criticized the club for inflicting “damage to the reputation” following last month’s foiled plan to create 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 Glazer family monitoring dissatisfaction with the proposals.
Lindsell Train owns 27% of the New York-listed Class A shares of United, or about 7% of the club, while also holding a significant stake in Juventus, which have yet to come out of the breakaway, and the Celtic.
Strong Manchester United backer slammed Glazer ownership for ‘damage to reputation’ after European Super League breakaway failed
Nick Train, who manages the UK Equity Fund Lindsell Train, has expressed concern over the situation
With its stake totaling nearly 30% of New York-listed stocks, the fund manager is one of United’s two largest shareholders outside of the controversial Glazers.
Train wrote in its monthly report to investors: “The announcement of the separatist European Super League (‘ESL’) 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 with the reputational damage Juventus and Manchester United have inflicted on themselves.
United supporters vocally demanded that Glazers’ ownership of the club end
“We asked for clarification on their position regarding the future of ESL.
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.
The Lindsell Train website shows how the city giant seeks to invest in companies that “exhibit characteristics with good corporate governance and responsible business practices.”
Joel (left) and Avram (right) Glazer are pictured with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in April 2019
A large police presence was at Old Trafford for the Liverpool game with another protest staged
However, after United and Juventus’ shares collapsed in the wake of the Super League fiasco, a fund manager told Evening Standard that Train would be “not happy”.
United’s shares initially fell 6% and Juventus’s by 11%, with both clubs feeling the pinch of their attempts to push forward the much-maligned Super League proposals.
Lindsell Train’s concern echoed those of some of the club’s business partners, including reports that the kit’s sponsors, Adidas, 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.
More recently, United star Edinson Cavani has indeed taken aim at the Glazers by revealing his own dismay at the Super League plans.
“When the Super League came along, I was like, ‘It can’t be possible – if it happens, what can we expect next? “Said Cavani Two points.
“I don’t share his ideas at all. I don’t agree with that. We must not deprive smaller teams of the chance to play in the Champions League.