Manchester United executive co-chairman Joel Glazer has pledged to “invest in the transfer market” and promised supporters they will have a more significant voice in how the club is run.
Glazer attended his first fans’ forum meeting since his family took over the Premier League giants in 2005 and laid out his plans for how the club intends to improve dialogue and consultation with supporters.
Glazer attended the meeting after United supporters were left furious by the club’s decision to sign up for the doomed European Super League in April.
That led to protests before United’s Premier League clash with Liverpool on May 2, with a group of fans breaking into Old Trafford and invading the pitch.
The game was ultimately postponed and replayed 11 days later, United suffering a 4-2 defeat to their bitter rivals.
A fans’ forum had put a four-point plan to Glazer and asked for a fan share scheme giving supporters voting rights, support for a fan-led government review, the appointment of independent directors to the board, and regular consultation with season ticket holders on major decisions.
Those proposals appear to have been taken on board by the club, with Glazer announcing the creation of a fan advisory board to consult with the club’s senior leadership and owners, in addition to a strengthened fans’ forum.
The board will be made up of representatives from the forum and key fan groups to ensure the fans’ perspective is embedded within the club’s decision-making processes, a statement on the United website said.
Glazer also outlined plans for a fan share scheme, which will involve a new class of shares that carry the same voting rights as the shares owned by the Glazer family.
The statement said “this would establish a foundation for supporters to build a meaningful ownership stake and create a new spirit of partnership with the club”.
Speaking at the meeting, Glazer said: “Our goal is to win every competition we compete in, and we will continue to invest in our academy and in the transfer market to support the manager in an effort to meet the club’s goals.
“As a club we have devoted a lot of time and resources over the last several years updating and further developing our vast global scouting network to adapt to the modern football environment. This is a project that should provide a foundation for long-term success in the years to come.
“Old Trafford is at the heart of Manchester United and while we have spent over £100million over the last 10 years on infrastructure projects, we will now accelerate the process of planning much more significant investment and upgrades to the stadium.
“Rest assured, we will consult with supporters throughout the process to end up with a result we can all be proud of.
“The same goes for our training ground. Preliminary planning work is already under way and there will be significant funding available to further enhance our facilities and ensure they remain world class.”
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