Manchester United held a fans’ forum two days before they confirmed their involvement in the widely-condemned Super League.
The Manchester Evening News understands executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was not present on the call, having spoken on the previous forum call in November.
The call was hosted by director of communications Charlie Brooks and chief operating officer Collette Roche. Managing director Richard Arnold was described as ‘unusually quiet’.
United fan and forum member James Coatsworth, who was on the call, told the MEN : “I’m disgusted in Manchester United’s involvement in this scheme and the contempt it shows for fans.
“We’re familiar with the greed of our current owners, which has now manifested itself in a way that goes against every achievement in our club’s proud history.”
Woodward was not in attendance for United’s Premier League win over Burnley on Sunday and has stepped down from his role as the European Club Association’s representative on Uefa’s Professional Football Strategy Council. United have resigned from the ECA.
United fans were reassured by Woodward the club would ‘keep matchgoing fans firmly in the centre of thoughts’ over possible changes to European club competition during the November fans’ call. A source present on that call has confirmed to the MEN fans were not consulted on United’s involvement in the Super League whatsoever.
The United co-chairman Joel Glazer confirmed the club’s support for the Super League in a statement on Sunday night.
A press release entitled ‘LEADING EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CLUBS ANNOUNCE NEW SUPER LEAGUE COMPETITION’ carried quotes from the United co-chairman and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
It confirmed United, AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Tottenham are the founding clubs and promised three other clubs would join ahead of the inaugural season.
Glazer, who has not attended a United game since they hosted Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals in April 2019, Perez and Juventus president Andrea Agnelli were the only figures quoted in the statement.
Glazer said: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”
United failed to respond to requests for comment when news of the Super League broke on Sunday.