Group managing director Richard Arnold sits down with ManUtd.com to reflect on a highly successful pre-season trip to Asia and Australia as part of Tour 2013 presented by Aon…
We’ve just completed the first part of the club’s pre-season tour with a game in Stockholm still to come next week – how would you sum things up so far?
Everything has gone very well. These tours are always fantastic when it comes to team-bonding amongst the players and the staff and it’s been great to get to know David [Moyes] on the trip. I know everyone is pleased with how the training has been going which is the most important thing on these trips and, of course, the other thing the tours allow us to do is meet our fans across the world and, so far, on this tour we’ve been able to do that in Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. The reaction we’ve had has been great.
David Moyes commented the other day about how impressed he is by the meticulous level of detail that goes into the organisation of the trip – that’s something that’s vital to the trip being a success isn’t it?
Absolutely. A lot of time and effort goes into organising it and it’s a very important part of the season. Obviously we’re away from home and therefore don’t have all the facilities that we have available at the Aon Training Complex but a lot of work goes in to making sure we have the best possible facilities on the trip down to the smallest detail so they’re as close to what we have at the Aon Training Complex as possible. A lot of work also goes into the time management and sleep management of the players to ensure they get the most out of the trip from a training perspective. Everything is factored in to the planning of the trip.
And they seem to get bigger year on year…
Yes and it’s great to see the reaction we get in different countries. All the games on the first leg of the tour were sell-outs and the open training sessions were hugely popular with thousands of fans in attendance at those as well. We’re very fortunate to have been successful off the pitch as well as on it and that enables us to put on a really fantastic show - not just on the pitch on tour, but with the other things that we do involving Manchester United Soccer Schools and our legends, and also engaging with local kids via our partners and the Manchester United Foundation.