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Man Utd sues supporter over corporate client 'data theft'

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Manchester United is suing a supporter who published a list of its corporate supporters on its website last year, a move the football club alleges led to incidents of harassment.

Thomas McKenna, 44, allegedly published the list of the club's corporate clients on United Supporters for Change, a group that campaigns against the debt burden placed on the club following its takeover by the Glazer family. The club's legal action seeks to compel McKenna to destroy his list, and secure an injunction against further publication, as well as unspecified damages.

A club spokesman told The Independent that the "stolen" list led to incidents of targeted harassment and vandalism.

"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."

Manchester United Supporters Trust, another group opposed to the unpopular Glazers, are backing McKenna by starting a legal fund that may enable him to fight the club's High Court writ.

Information on some of the club's corporate supporters is advertised on its website. The other holders of corporate boxes is hardly top secret information either, so it's tricky to figure out what the club hopes to gain via its action. ®

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