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Glazer family commit to Manchester United investment in first meeting with fans following Old Trafford protests

16:35 BST 04/06/2021
Avram Joel Glazer Manchester United
Co-chairman Joel Glazer spoke with supporters to discuss their views and concerns after the botched attempt at the European Super League

The Glazer family have pledged to invest in Manchester United both on and off the pitch this summer as they set out plans to strengthen the team, while improving Old Trafford and the club's Carrington training base.

Joel Glazer confirmed their commitment as he attended a meeting of the Fans' Forum on Friday afternoon. 

The club's co-chairman also revealed plans to explore setting up a fan share scheme which would give United fans equal voting rights on the board. It would involve a new class of shares which the club say will allow "a foundation for supporters to build a meaningful ownership stake and create a new spirit of partnership with the club."    

What happened? 

For the first time in 16 years since the American family bought Manchester United, they met with fans to discuss ongoing concerns and future plans for the club.

Joel Glazer was present at a meeting of the Manchester United Fans' Forum, which is a group who meet once a quarter to talk about supporter-related matters and gives a number of fans opportunity to voice their opinion to senior members of club staff. 

Although they have been invited previously, this is the first time any member of the Glazer family has been present at the meeting which was held virtually due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. 

Joel Glazer agreed to attend the meeting after backlash to United's involvement in the proposed European Super League led to protests, and a letter was sent to Glazer asking him to respond to their concerns. 

The meeting lasted for nearly two hours with a wide-ranging number of topics discussed, and the initial feeling afterwards was one of optimism. 

What was said? 

During the meeting Joel 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.

"In addition, as you all know, we have also been focused on growing and developing our women’s team in line with the traditions and values of the club, and we are committed to continuing that process.

"Old Trafford is at the heart of Manchester United and while we have spent over £100m 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. 

“We want this club to always be successful and win trophies. To compete for trophies requires significant investment. The commercial growth at the club has helped deliver the revenue which ultimately underpins that investment in a sustainable manner.

“That approach has allowed us to have among the highest net transfer spend in world football over the last five years and have one of the highest wage bills."

After the meeting he 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.”

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