Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
This statement is made by Manchester United Football Club Limited on behalf of itself, its UK parent undertakings and its subsidiary undertakings (together the “Group”).
About Manchester United
We are one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Through our 145-year heritage we have won 66 trophies, including a record 20 English league titles, enabling us to develop what we believe is one of the world’s leading sports brands and a global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers.
Manchester United is dedicated to conducting its business consistent with the highest standards of business ethics. We have an obligation to our employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, community representatives and other business contacts to be honest, fair and forthright in all of our business activities. In accordance with this ethical approach, we do not tolerate modern slavery or human trafficking in our organisation or in our supply chain.
We operate and manage our business as a single reporting segment – the operation of a professional sports team. We review our revenue through three principal sectors – Commercial, Broadcasting and Matchday:
- within the commercial revenue sector, we monetise our global brand via two revenue streams: sponsorship; and retail, merchandising, apparel & product licensing;
- we benefit from the distribution and broadcasting of live football content directly from the revenue we receive and indirectly through increased global exposure for our commercial partners. Broadcasting revenue is derived from the global television rights relating to the Premier League, UEFA club competitions and other competitions. In addition, our wholly-owned global television channel, MUTV, delivers Manchester United programming to territories around the world. In addition to our broadcasting channel, MUTV D2C subscription is available via the club’s mobile application on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Roku and Xbox.
- Old Trafford stadium is one of the world’s iconic sports venues. It seats 74,240, inclusive of accessible platforms accommodating 556 disabled supporters, and is the largest football club stadium in the United Kingdom.
At the top of our group structure is a US listed plc, with the remaining majority of our group companies being incorporated in England and Wales.
Our supply chains
Our supply chains include third party suppliers of products/services required for our Commercial, Broadcasting and Matchday operations. These include, amongst others, suppliers of the following products/services:
- Football operations
- Audio-visual equipment/service
- Broadcasting (including production and editing) services
- Catering products and services
- Consultancy services
- Education and training services
- Financial services
- Food & beverages
- Insurance services
- IT equipment/software/hardware
- Kit and equipment
- Maintenance services
- Marketing/advertising/design services
- Medical Treatment/Supplies
- Pitches-related products and services
- Professional services
- Property management services
- Recruitment services
- Security services
- Travel & accommodation services
- Supplies for our offices and other sundries
We oppose Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in all its forms
We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking, which forms part of our broader commitment to conduct our business in an ethical and lawful manner. Our commitment to ethical practices is set out in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the “Code”) available via the following link:
All our employees are required to act in accordance with the Code as a condition of their employment.
We have established a Risk Committee comprising senior members of Legal & Business Affairs, Finance and Operations. The remit of this committee includes compliance with modern slavery laws. Reporting into this Committee is a senior member of the Legal & Business Affairs team with specific responsibility for our compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
We have in place robust whistle-blower processes where staff who have concerns about any breach of our codes of conduct may report their concerns on an anonymous basis.
Our Safeguarding Team
We have an established Safeguarding Team that works across the whole of the club and Manchester United Foundation. Manchester United believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or adult at risk to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and adults at risk, by a commitment to practice which protects them. The Safeguarding Team sits within the Group People & Sustainability team and works within the Premier League Rules and national legislation. Specific safeguarding policies are in place for both children and adults at risk, and these are regularly reviewed.
Across the club there are trained designated safeguarding officers representing different departments. The designated safeguarding officers provide a direct link for all colleagues and any individual to raise any concern, which are then referred to the Safeguarding Team. There is a robust referral process in place for any form of concern.
The Safeguarding Team works in partnership with statutory agencies across Greater Manchester, including Project Challenger, Greater Manchester Police and Local Authority Designated Officers. From this joint working, colleagues who work directly with children and adults at risk have been provided with appropriate training which covers thematic topics such as an introduction to safeguarding, safer recruitment, child sexual exploitation, E-safety, Prevent (raising awareness about radicalisation), as well as many other courses. As part of our mandatory business’ compliance training, all colleagues are required to complete an online course entitled “Modern Day Slavery”.
There is a commitment to joint safeguard working in partnership with other Premier League clubs' Safeguarding Teams, the Premier League and The FA. These partnerships provide further networking, information sharing, training and development opportunities. In addition to receiving support visits from The Premier League, the club and MU Foundation are independently audited by Barnardo’s each season. The audit involves observations of operations, reviewing case management and interviews with colleagues, children, adults at risk and parent/carers to ensure that safeguarding is embedded throughout the Group in accordance with the Premier League Rules Safeguarding Standards and national legislation compliance.
On matchdays, there is a designated matchday Safeguarding Team. The skill set of the team includes social workers and youth workers who are able to respond to any concerns raised. The Safeguarding Team are deployed by the match day control and are supported if high levels of concerns are identified by the Police. On a seasonal basis the variety of teams that operate on a match day have been observed by local authority safeguarding representatives, the Premier League and Safeguarding Leads from other Premier League clubs. This has provided insight and awareness for the statutory agencies of the scope of the match day operations which has increased their knowledge and supported the sharing of best practice across the game.
At Manchester United, we recognise that modern slavery and human trafficking is a potential risk when recruiting into our workforce. As such, our Group People & Sustainability team engage with business leaders to ensure that we are transparent in our recruitment processes, follow the club’s recruitment policy and promote our whistleblowing policy. This enables our workforce to raise any concerns, whether that be in relation to the treatment of colleagues or in relation to practices within the club or supply chain, without fear of reprisal.
Our robust recruitment policy is reviewed annually, ensuring that eligibility to work in the UK checks, and other background checks, are conducted for all colleagues joining the club. The modern slavery compliance training referred to above, which is mandatory for all, ensures all colleagues are aware of the signs and symptoms that may identify someone as a potential victim of modern slavery. In particular, our recruiting teams and hiring managers are all familiar with the ‘Safer Recruitment’ guidance, which is reviewed and reissued on an annual basis, and additional awareness training is delivered periodically.
Should any concerns arise, our Group People & Sustainability team work closely with our managers and engage with our Safeguarding Team at an early stage, to ensure a holistic support mechanism is put in place to support affected persons.
Supplier due diligence processes
In furtherance of our commitment to taking a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking, we take the following pro-active steps with respect to our supply chains:
1. We require all of our suppliers to make positive written affirmations that: (i) they do not; and (ii) their direct supply chain does not, endorse, enable or facilitate human trafficking or slavery within their business, and we have built this requirement into our new supplier process. All of our suppliers are informed of the fact that we as a business operate a zero tolerance to human trafficking and/or slavery. We expect all those in our supply chain to comply with our values. Failure by an existing supplier to provide the positive affirmations described above will lead to an investigation and may result in that supplier’s contract being terminated. Failure by a potential new supplier to provide requested positive affirmations may disqualify them from becoming a supplier to us.
2. Our standard terms and conditions for suppliers include an express obligation that they comply with applicable anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking legislation.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Group's modern slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 30 June 2023.
Signed on the Board’s behalf for and on behalf of Manchester United Football Club Limited and its Group companies as defined above.
Chief Executive Officer
09 October 2023