Manchester United's executive co-chairman Joel Glazer has promised fans more of a say in the running of the club.
Simmering resentment at the Glazer's ownership of the Premier League club boiled over into mass protest last week. As thousands gathered outside Old Trafford, roughly 200 individuals broke into the stadium and made it onto the pitch. The game with Liverpool was postponed as a result.
Responding to a letter the United Fans' Forum, Glazer vowed to meet with them at the end of the season, as he seeks to usher in a new "era of dialogue".
The forum includes representatives from season ticket-holders, club members, official supporters’ clubs, Family Stand fans, over 65s, disabled supporters, and local residents.
Glazer committed to strengthening the squad during the next transfer window, as well as further investment in the stadium.
"Success on the field must be underpinned by solid foundations off it," Glazer wrote, "We have supported sustained investment in the team over many years, and that will continue this summer.
Glazer apologised once again for United's Super League involvement, saying, "In particular, I want to acknowledge the need for change, with deeper consultation with you as our main fan representative body across a range of important issues, including the competitions we play in.
"We also recognise the importance of fan and football interests being embedded in key decision-making processes at every level of the club, and we are open to constructive discussions on how to reinforce that principle."
You can read Glazer's letter in full below:
Joel Glazer letter to fans' groups:
Dear Fan Representatives,
Thank you for your letter dated April 30, sent in your capacity as representatives of Manchester United fans. I read the contents closely and your love and passion for the club came across very clearly.
I want to salute your service to the Fans’ Forum, which I know is a vital channel for consultation between the club and our fans. As I recently stated publicly, I am personally committed to ensuring that we strengthen this relationship in future.
Your heartfelt letter captured the unique spirit of Manchester United, forged through decades of triumph, adversity and tragedy, and still powerfully present in today’s exciting team under Ole and the vibrant fanbase which you represent.
I was personally humbled by parts of your letter, as you explained so clearly why our initial support for the European Super League left you feeling angry and let down. I would like to reiterate my sincere apology for the mistakes that were made.
In particular, I want to acknowledge the need for change, with deeper consultation with you as our main fan representative body across a range of important issues, including the competitions we play in. We also recognise the importance of fan and football interests being embedded in key decision-making processes at every level of the club, and we are open to constructive discussions on how to reinforce that principle.
In addition, I want to reassure you that my family and I care deeply about Manchester United and feel a profound sense of responsibility to protect and enhance its strength for the long-term, while respecting its values and traditions.
Our top priority is, and will always be, competing for the most important trophies, playing entertaining football with a team comprised of top-quality recruits and some of the world’s best homegrown talent. Under Ole, we feel we are absolutely on the right track.
Success on the field must be underpinned by solid foundations off it. We have supported sustained investment in the team over many years, and that will continue this summer.
We recognise that we will need to significantly increase investment in Old Trafford and our training complex to ensure that the club’s facilities remain among the best in Europe. As part of this, we will consult with fans on investments related to the stadium and the matchday experience.
To highlight some specific points, as one of the few European football clubs listed on the public markets, we believe in the principle of fans owning shares in the club. We have previously engaged with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust on fan share ownership and we want to continue and accelerate those discussions, together with provisions to enhance associated fan consultation.
We recognise that the Government-initiated, fan-led review of football is a positive opportunity to explore new structures for fan engagement and influence. I can assure you that we will willingly and openly engage in the review, with the aim of putting fans at the heart of the game and ensuring their interests are advanced and protected.
These commitments are a starting point for further dialogue, including all the specific points you raised, rather than final proposals. We want to work together to come up with an ambitious package of measures which will transform our relationship with fans and strengthen the club for the long-term. In this spirit, we will reach out to members of the forum to schedule a meeting in which I shall participate as soon as possible after the final 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 let’s look forward to a successful end to the season.
With best regards,
Executive Co-Chairman and Director