Joel Glazer has told Manchester United fans he is “committed” to giving them a bigger say in how their club is run after he met with supporters on Friday.
The United co-chairman attended his first fans’ forum meeting in 16 years of ownership and laid out plans to improve dialogue with supporters and open up a new share scheme.
Glazer attended the meeting after the toxic fallout to his attempt to enter United into the European Super League. The breakaway proposal was met with fierce protests at Old Trafford and since penning an open letter to confirm the club’s withdrawal from the competition, Glazer has told fans he will listen to them.
Until he put his name to the press release confirming the ESL project United fans hadn’t heard publicly from any of the Glazer family since their takeover in 2005, but Joel has now promised that will change.
He has committed to establishing a new fan advisory board and has opened discussions with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust over a ‘mutually beneficial’ fan share scheme.
After the meeting, Glazer said: “I was pleased to join the Fans’ Forum to listen to the views of supporters, address their questions, and share ideas on how we can improve the way we work together.
“As owners, we want exactly the same thing as the fans – a successful team and a strong club – and we want to work in partnership to achieve those objectives.
“Fans are the lifeblood of Manchester United and I am personally committed to ensuring that they are given an enhanced voice, through the creation of a Fan Advisory Board and a Fan Share Scheme.
“The club has been in discussions with MUST regarding a fan share scheme for a number of months and has already sought external legal advice on options. Discussions will now intensify, with the aim of agreeing a plan before the start of the new season.”
The fan advisory board will consult with the club’s senior leadership and owners, while there will also be a beefed-up 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.
MUST had also called for a new share scheme and the club have started discussions on that. It will involve a new class of shares which will each carry the same voting rights as the shares owned by the Glazer family, allowing supporters to build a stake in the ownership of the club.