United’s Premier League reunion with Liverpool was postponed last Sunday after protests against Glazer’s ownership outside Old Trafford and the team’s hotel prevented the game from being played out.
Controversial plans to join the separatist European Super League have reignited anti-Glazer sentiment within United support, which has existed since their leveraged takeover of the club in 2005.
Following Sunday’s protests, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust wrote to Joel, the Glazer family member most involved in the club’s day-to-day operations.
MUST’s four-point plan for ownership recommended a fan-sharing program that would give supporters voting rights, the appointment of independent directors to United’s board of directors, support for the football review led by fans and regular consultation with season ticket holders on major decisions. made by the club.
In a letter to those on the United Fan Forum, Glazer pledged to hold discussions on the topic of fan share ownership.
“As one of the few publicly traded European football clubs, we believe in the principle that supporters own shares in the club,” he wrote.
“We have previously engaged with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust on fan ownership and we want to continue and accelerate these discussions, as well as arrangements to improve fan consultation.”
The United co-chairman also reiterated his apologies for United’s role in the Super League project, which collapsed dramatically last month amid widespread opposition from fans.
“In particular, I would like to recognize the need for change, with further consultation with you as the main fan representative body on a range of important issues, including the competitions in which we play,” he said. he writes.
“We also recognize the importance of integrating fan and football interests into key decision-making processes at all levels of the club, and we are open to constructive discussions on how to strengthen this principle. “
In response, MUST preached caution, pointing out that actions speak louder than words, and said they would consult with their members before embarking on any process with property.
“The answer could in theory – and we insist only on theory – be a change of direction and approach by owners to their silence and disregard for communication over the past 16 years.
“However, we will determine our position based on the resulting actions rather than just those words. We have seen stop words too often before.
“We will ask our members and all the fans for a mandate before we continue. We wish to engage in this process only if our supporters wish to do so.
“The onus is on the club to correct the problems of the past, not just the European Super League, but the general lack of communication and consultation on the part of the owners.
“Our main objective remains to ensure the establishment of a shareholding system for supporters which carries voting rights equal to the shares held by the Glazer family. This program would be promoted to the global fan base and in turn should create a notable participation in the club.
“Through it all, our goals remain the same and as stated in the open letter to Joel Glazer.
“We want a new Manchester United, with meaningful participation for fans and a meaningful voice in key areas. This is our goal, and there will be no respite until we get there. “
Letter from Glazer to United fans
“Dear (representative of the Fans Forum),
“Thank you for your letter dated April 30, sent in your capacity as representative of the Manchester United fans. I read the content carefully and your love and passion for the club came out very clearly.
“I would like to salute your service to the Fan Forum, which I know is an essential channel of consultation between the club and our fans. As I recently stated publicly, I am personally committed to ensuring that we strengthen this relationship in the future.
“Your heartfelt letter captured the unique spirit of Manchester United, forged through decades of triumph, adversity and tragedy, and still strongly present in today’s exciting squad under Ole and the fan base. dynamic that you represent.
“I was personally touched by parts of your letter, as you made it so clear why our initial support for the European Super League left you angry and disappointed. I would like to reiterate my sincere apologies for the mistakes that have been made.
“In particular, I would like to recognize the need for change, with further consultation with you as the primary representative body for fans on a range of important issues, including the competitions in which we play. We also recognize the importance of integrating the interests of supporters and football. in key decision-making processes at all levels of the club, and we are open to constructive discussions on how to strengthen this principle.
“We remain committed to working with the football community as a whole to make the game stronger and more sustainable in the long term, and we will now refocus our efforts on this point within the existing structures of UEFA and Premier League. League.
“In addition, I want to reassure you that my family and I are deeply attached to Manchester United and feel a deep sense of responsibility to protect and strengthen its long-term strength, while respecting its values and traditions.
“Our top priority is, and always will be, to compete for the most important trophies, to play entertaining football with a team made up of high quality rookies and some of the best local talent in the world. Under Ole, we feel that we are absolutely on the right track.
“Success on the pitch must be underpinned by a solid foundation. We have supported sustained investments in the team for many years, and this will continue into the summer.
“We recognize that we will need to significantly increase investments in Old Trafford and our training complex to ensure that the club’s facilities remain among the best in Europe. In this context, we will consult with supporters on investments related to the stadium and the match day experience.
“Indeed, one of the clearest lessons of the past few weeks is the need for us to become better listeners. To this end, I can urge the club to commit to all of the issues raised in your letter.
“To highlight some specific points, as one of the few publicly traded European football clubs, we believe in the principle of supporters holding shares in the club. We have previously engaged with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust on fan ownership and we want to continue and accelerate these discussions, as well as arrangements to improve fan consultation.
“We recognize that the government-initiated, fan-driven review of football is a positive opportunity to explore new structures for fan engagement and influence. I can assure you that we will be willingly and openly engaging in the review, with the goal of putting fans at the heart of the game and ensuring their interests are advanced and protected.
“These commitments are a starting point for a more in-depth dialogue, including any specific points you have raised, rather than final proposals. We want to work together to come up with an ambitious set of measures that will transform our relationship with supporters and strengthen the club in the long run. With that in mind, we will be reaching out to forum members to schedule a meeting I will attend as soon as possible after the last game of the season.
“Thank you again for your work for the forum and your passion for the club. I look forward to meeting you and in the meantime look forward to a successful end to the season.